If you are considering planting a vineyard, or you have just recently done so, you will benefit from the information provided in this educational one-day workshop. This seminar is a good overview of what is involved with getting a commercial vineyard started in Maryland, and is part one of a two-part series. The second workshop, to be offered in the spring of 2007, will discuss the ins and outs of starting a winery.
There has been tremendous interest in the wine grape production throughout the Southern Maryland region. In fact, many growers have or are considering establishing vineyards, said Ben Beale, of Maryland Cooperative Extension, the organization responsible for coordinating the workshop. However, successfully establishing a grape vineyard requires keen management and attention to details. New growers should attend to learn the specifics of vineyard establishment, variety selection and economics.
The cost of the workshop is typically $135 but has been reduced to $20 for Maryland residents thanks to subsidies from the Maryland Wine Association / Maryland Grape Growers Association via the Governors Commission on Grapes and Wine. To take advantage of this reduced rate, registration must be received by October 16. Registration after this date or at the door will be $160, if space allows.
Last spring, we started a new grant program for farmers in Southern Maryland to encourage the budding wine industry. We had applicants from four of the five Southern Maryland counties, and as a result, expect to see an additional 20 new acres added to Marylands grape industry. Said Christine Bergmark, executive director of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission. This workshop is the second phase of the program and is critical to its success. We are delighted that the Maryland Grape Growers Association is helping to sponsor the event.
Offered in a classroom format, the workshop will present a broad overview of commercial vineyard development from pre-plant planning into the third year including economics and marketing information, and variety, clone, and rootstock choices, site selection and preparation, pre-plant decisions, equipment and supply requirements. The basics of ordering, planting, and tending the vines through the third year of growth, as well as best practices for training, canopy management, and pest management. There will be an opportunity for a vineyard demonstration at the end.
The workshop will take place at the SMECO Auditorium in Hughesville, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To register or for more information, contact Ben Beale, St. Marys Extension Office; phone: 301 475 4484, firstname.lastname@example.org or Joe Fiola: phone: 301-432-2767 ext. 344, email@example.com. Registration forms and directions can also be found at the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission website: http://www.somarylandsogood.com/.