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Grape Growers Meeting on Living with Red Blotch Infected Vineyards


UCCE’s Dr. Kaan Kurtural to Address El Dorado Grape Growers on Red Blotch Disease Management Strategies, April 18, 2018 at 6:00pm

PLACERVILLE, CA: El Dorado Wine Grape Growers Association President, Benjamin Falk, is pleased to announce that Dr. Kaan Kurtural, UC Cooperative Extension Viticulture Specialist, will be addressing grape growers and interested parties at 6:00pm on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at the El Dorado Grape Growers Association meeting held at the Veterans Memorial Building located at 130 Placerville Dr., Placerville.

Dr. Kurtural will be discussing “Living with Red Blotch Infected Vineyards” and the new research into the physiological effects of Grapevine Red Blotch Virus disease (GRBV). This research brings new understanding to methods and strategies for how growers may effectively manage vineyards infected with the disease. Dr. Kurtural was recently a presenter at UCCE’s recent Foothill Grape Day event held at the Amador County Fairgrounds. Learning the techniques of how to best manage GRBV in the vineyard is the essence of Dr. Kurtural’s talk on April 18.
Winegrapes are the fourth largest agricultural crop in El Dorado County and Grapevine Red Blotch Virus disease is currently a hot topic for vineyard managers and winemakers. Growers and winemakers are concerned as Red Blotch has the ability to dramatically affect quality and delay ripening. Mature berries may be lower by 5 or 6 brix and GRBV affects the anthocyanins which can lead to reduced color in red grapes and the finished wine.
According to the UC Davis website, “Symptoms include blotches of pink or red veins on green leaves in the fall, when grape leaves would normally be turning a uniform gold color. Growers also might notice that their grapes are slow to develop sugar levels sufficient for winemaking, with some grapes never fully maturing…. If there are visual signs of red blotch, as well as poor sugar development, growers should test their vines for both red blotch and leafroll virus because the symptoms of the two viruses are so similar.”

About Dr. Kurtural: He is a Cooperative Extension Specialist for the University of California Davis in the Department of Viticulture and Enology.  He is headquartered at the Department’s Oakville Station – a 40-acre research facility in the heart of Napa Valley. Much of his research and extension teaching is focused on understanding whole grapevine physiology that leads to improving cultural practices, enhancing berry flavonoid composition, and adapting to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Dr. Kurtural’s UCCE research focuses on three main areas: 1) improving production efficiency in vineyards by optimizing fruit crop load and vine canopy using mechanical pruning, shoot thinning and leaf removal, and applied water amounts with precision guidance; 2) identifying quality improvement traits in berry composition by translating fundamental research into applied production practices in vineyards; and, 3) evaluating alternative methods of controlling invasive species in vineyards.

Please join us for this important presentation. All growers and vintners are encouraged to attend. There is no charge but wine donations are always appreciated.

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