Show-Me Grape and Wine Conference and Symposium Adds New Events

Wine tasting, new speakers added to schedule

The Show-Me Grape and Wine Conference and Symposium will return in March with new topics and events, as well as a tasting of Missouri wines.

The events, which are hosted by the University of Missouri Grape and Wine Institute (GWI), will run from March 8-10. The Show-Me Grape and Wine Conference, in its second year, will be March 8-9. This will be the sixth year of the Show-Me Grape and Wine Symposium, which will take place March 10.

Both events will take place at the Hampton Inn and Suites near the MU campus. There is a block of rooms reserved for this event at the Hampton Inn and Suites. Reservations can be made now. The rooms are available until Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Registration for the conference and symposium is currently open and closes on March 6. The conference costs $125 for both days. There is a $25 cost for the Missouri wine tasting, which includes hors d’oeuvres. The symposium is free to attend.

Dean Volenberg, director of the MU Grape and Wine Institute, will be one of the featured speakers during the Show-Me Grape and Wine Conference and Symposium. Photo by Nate Compton. Dean Volenberg, director of the MU Grape and Wine Institute, will be one of the featured speakers during the Show-Me Grape and Wine Conference and Symposium. Photo by Nate Compton.

“The Show-Me Grape and Wine Conference provides attendees from both the grape-growing and winemaking industries an opportunity to expand their knowledge on topics ranging from oxygen management in the winemaking process to weed management in the vineyard,” said Dean Volenberg, director of the MU Grape and Wine Institute.

The conference will feature numerous speakers from throughout the United States, including Purdue University, Cornell University, Penn State University and The Ohio State University. There will be three speakers from MU – Volenberg; Misha Kwasniewski, GWI assistant research professor and enology program leader; and Reid Smeda, professor in the Division of Plant Sciences.

“For attendees, the conference offers a range of speakers that have spent much or all of their careers in Eastern viticulture or enology,” Volenberg said. “The conference provides an opportunity, not just to listen and learn, but to interact with both speakers and other attendees. I always learn new things from attendees as we converse on a broad range of topics.”

A new feature of this year’s conference will be a Missouri wine tasting, which will be hosted by the Missouri Grape Growers Association and the Missouri Wine and Grape Board. The tasting will showcase a variety of Missouri wines.

“The Missouri wine testing event will showcase wonderful Missouri wines,” Volenberg said. “This should be a great social event and provide the opportunity for some great discussions on current topics of viticulture and enology that were presented throughout the first day of the conference.”

The Missouri Wine Technical Group (MWTG) will meet in the afternoon of March 9 as well. The MWTG will evaluate both finished and unfinished wines during the afternoon. Commercial winemakers from the region who want to participate should bring wines for this event. All conference attendees are welcome and encouraged to attend this event.

“The MWTG provides winemakers feedback on their wines in an informal environment that results not only in elevating wine quality but learning about the art and craft of winemaking,” Volenberg said. “At last year’s MWTG event everyone took away new nuggets of information.”

The symposium will focus on grape and wine research taking place across the state and the surrounding region. The symposium presentations will be around 15 minutes each, highlighting viticulture and enology research in Missouri. There will be a short question-and-answer session after each presentation.

“The GWI collaborates with a number of institutions both within and outside of the University of Missouri,” Volenberg said. “The symposium provides a venue to share research updates. In some instances, attendees may learn of new research being initiated in the grape and wine industries. The goal of the symposium is to share the knowledge being generated, discuss the results, take away new research results and their application, and generate new research ideas that help solve emerging problems. The symposium offers attendees the opportunity for ongoing engagement in the grape and wine industries.”

For more information about the event, contact Volenberg at (573) 882-0476 or volenbergd@missouri.edu.