December marks return of Grape and Wine Analysis Workshop at OSU South Centers

By Bradford Sherman
South Centers/CFAES

PIKETON — Learn art of wine grape growing and wine production during a fun and educational day at The Ohio State University South Centers as part of the 2019 Grape and Wine Analysis Workshop.

The workshop will run from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 5. This daytime educational opportunity will feature Dr. Gary Gao, Professor and Extension Specialist, and Research Assistant Ryan Slaughter, along with several expert guest presenters.

The cost of the workshop is $25 per person and includes an Italian-themed pasta and salad lunch catered by Haute Stuff. You must preregister by Monday, December 2 by calling Program Assistant Bradford Sherman at 740-289-2071 ext. 115 or by emailing your registration information to

“We have been running this very popular program for quite a few years now,” said Gao. “Attendees will learn the basics of wine grape growing and winemaking techniques.” Gao added that those who take part in this program will learn proven grape growing techniques, acquire basic tools to successfully manage a vineyard, and come away with a better understanding of how to get started in the wine business.

The impact that grape growing and wine making has on the economy of Ohio is around $1.3 billion each year. According to data from a 2016 economic impact study, Ohio is the 6th largest wine and 9th largest grape-producing state with a retail value of $61 million in wine sold. The Buckeye State has 265 wineries that employ 8,067 full-time workers who produce nearly six million gallons of wine annually.

Whether you are an established grower or wine maker, or are just interested in getting started in this important economical industry, this workshop will provide valuable information for you to take back to your operation. Topics covered will include a 2019 vintage overview, back to the basics: a focus on red and white grape and wine production, vine establishment and training, grape cultivars trialed at OSU South Centers, and vineyard maintenance. Attendees over the age of 21 will also have the opportunity to sample some of the wines made from OSU enology trials.

Presenting these topics will be experts from the Ohio State University Department of Horticulture Crop Science. Scheduled for the workshop are Enology Program Manager Todd Steiner, Viticulture Outreach Specialist Dr. Maria Smith, and Enology Lab Manager Patrick Pierquet.

“Our speakers all have extensive training and experience in either grape growing or wine making or both,” explained Gao. “Attendees will also get to see our research and demonstration vineyards at OSU South Centers, and check out some our analytical tools for fruit or wine analysis.”

OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road in Piketon. Attendees should enter the Research and Extension Building upon arrival.