Characteristics of the cold-climate winegrape industry in Vermont, USA

T.L. Bradshaw, A.L. Hazelrigg, L.P. Berkett
Vermont and other cold regions of the US which experience winter temperatures below -20°C produced virtually no winegrapes before the mid-1990s. Cultivar and planting system adoption have changed rapidly in the past two decades as cultivars with increased cold hardiness and wine quality potential have become available. In the mid-1990s, the first commercial vineyards were established in the State of Vermont, and consisted of French hybrid and 'hardy' vinifera as well as cold-hardy releases from public and private breeding programs. Training systems included mid wire cordon and Geneva double curtain. Private and public breeding programs located primarily in the upper midwestern US released cold-hardy winegrape cultivars in the late 1990s, continuing releases into the 21st century, resulting in increased vineyard establishment. 'Frontenac' and 'La Crescent' were the first of these cultivars to be planted in any quantity in Vermont, followed by 'Marquette'. Training systems adopted for newer cold-hardy cultivars include predominantly high wire cordon, with mid wire cordon and Geneva Double Curtain used to a lesser degree. Continued releases of new cold-hardy cultivars having greater potential for quality wine and trials of advanced selections have facilitated increased vineyard plantings and replanting of older, less desirable cultivars.
Bradshaw, T.L., Hazelrigg, A.L. and Berkett, L.P. (2018). Characteristics of the cold-climate winegrape industry in Vermont, USA. Acta Hortic. 1205, 469-476
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.57
Vitis spp., value-added crop, economic impact, cultivar adoption, training systems

Acta Horticulturae