Virginia Sentinel Vineyard Project

  • This is our Extension effort to provide informative seasonal updates to growers by collaborating with experienced growers throughout the state.
  • This project has been led by Dr. Mizuho Nita (Extension Grape pathologist), Dr. Beth Chang (Extension Enologist), and Mr. Tremain Hatch (Viticulture Extension Associate) of Virginia Tech, and funded through the Virginia Wine Board since 2019.
  • We have ~ 20 grower participants who serve as the core group. Growers, winemakers, owners, and consultants, who have been in the business for many years, are our members.
  • They contribute monthly to report viticulture and enology-related information on two target cultivars, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. These two cultivars are widely grown in Virginia. Growth stage, pests, diseases, harvest parameters, abiotic factors (e.g. frost, hail), etc. are gathered at each meeting.
  • Information has been delivered through our extension outlets: monthly viticulture meetings, Viticulture notes, Mizuho’s blog, Beth’s web page, plus a seasonal newsletter.
One of the NEWA stations located in our experimental vineyards
  • As compensation for the time and effort of the core group members, we are installing a weather station that is compatible with NEWA, which is Cornell University’s Ag-weather network.
  • So far we have added five and we plan to install five more in 2022-2023.
  • We are using the NEWA-supported models to assess grape disease risk information and then deliver these to growers weekly via Mizuho’s blog.
An example of grape disease risk maps