February 10th Northern Grapes Webinar Registration is Open

The Northern Grapes Project Webinar Series

“Comparing and Contrasting Vertical Shoot Positioning and Top Wire Cordon Training Systems”

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

12:00 Noon Eastern (11:00 am Central)

7:00 pm Eastern (6:00 pm Central)

Join Bob Utter of Flying Otter Vineyard and Winery, John Thull of the University of Minnesota, and Tim Martinson of Cornell University as they discuss the pros and cons of Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) and Top Wire Cordon (TWC) training systems.  Bob will discuss TWC, including the advantages (including reduced labor, frost protection, and varmint predation), disadvantages, and how to convert from VSP to TWC.  John will cover how the narrow canopies created on VSP trellises allow for great sunlight interception and lower disease pressure, and the control that VSP gives the grower in the way of canopy management and what mechanized practices can be implemented. Tim will talk about the training system trials in New York on Marquette and Frontenac, and the differences observed between them, including yield and fruit composition.

If you have received this email from someone other than Chrislyn Particka, you need to register via the link below:


Registering for one Northern Grapes Webinar will place you on the mailing list, and you will receive announcements and connection instruction for all further Northern Grapes Webinars.

Registration will close at 8 am (Eastern) on Friday, February 6th.

Registration is NOT required if you received this email directly from Chrislyn Particka, as it means that you are a member of the Northern Grapes Webinar mailing list.

All members of the Northern Grapes Webinar mailing list will receive an email the Monday before the webinar containing the web address (URL) for both webinar sessions as well as connection instructions.

Feel free to email Chrislyn Particka (cap297@cornell.edu) with any questions, if you want to check your registration status, or if you’d like to be removed from the Northern Grapes Webinar mailing list.

Further Northern Grapes Project information is available on-line at


The Northern Grapes Project is funded by the USDA’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Project #2011-51181-30850 and through the New York State Specialty Crops Block Program.

Reminder: registration for February 12 Grower Meeting

Less than four weeks away:

Please see the attached agenda and registration form for the 119th Annual Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association & UVM Apple Program Annual Meeting. This year, the meeting will be hosted by Citizen Cider at their new facility at 316 Pine Street in Burlington, VT. Agenda highlights include:

  • Discussions on thinning and plant growth regulator use in orchards by Dr. Duane Greene, University of Massachusetts
  • Managing fire blight and apple scab in modern orchards with Dr. Kerik Cox, Cornell University
  • A panel discussion on labor issues in Vermont orchards
  • Cider and cheese pairing suggestions by food consultant and sensory scientist Dr. Montserrat Almena-Aliste
  • An optional post-meeting tour of Citizen Cider’s production facilities

Reduced-rate early registration deadline is February 1, 2015. The meeting is open to anyone, but VTFGA members receive a $10 discount on registration, as well as other benefits. Annual membership renewal, base operations, and research support dues may be made when signing up for registration.

Online registration, including credit card payment, is available here:

For mail in registrations, print the attached form and mail with payment by check to the address listed (also available at: http://www.uvm.edu/~fruit/treefruit/meetings/VTFGA2015MembershipAndRegistrationForm.pdf).

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.



January 2015 Northern Grapes Project News You Can Use: Winery Customer Satisfaction

PDF version available at:

News You Can Use

Winery Customer Satisfaction

Customers enjoy wine tasting at Tassel Ridge Winery in Leighton, IA. Tassel Ridge was a cooperator in the tasting room customer satisfaction survey.

Customer satisfaction is especially important for the cold climate wineries; as an emerging industry, it relies on visitors (regional customers and tourists) for an important share of total sales. By ensuring that customers have a satisfactory experience, the winery can create customer loyalty and positive press as clients recommend the establishment to their friends, colleagues and family. In the winery business, customer satisfaction is primarily determined by the tasting room experience, as tasting room visitors are not solely interested in the wine.

The study, led by Miguel Gomez at Cornell University, was conducted in six wineries in New York and Iowa, which collected surveys from tasting room customers from June through November 2012.

The purpose of this study was twofold:

1) Determine which factors drive customer satisfaction among local wineries in the emerging wine regions of New York and Iowa.

2) Identify the linkages between customer satisfaction and sales performance within these wineries.

The team found that a focus on customer service was the most effective strategy to increase customer satisfaction scores, and that “highly satisfied” visitors purchased an additional bottle of wine and spent $10 more per visit, compared to “satisfied” visitors.


The Tasting Room Experience and Winery Customer Satisfaction:

-Brief Research Report

-Full Extension Publication

April 9, 2013 webinar by Gregg McConnell and Miguel Gomez. Miguel’s portion of the webinar, “Customer Satisfaction Drives Tasting Room Sales,” starts right around the 30 minute mark. Gregg’s portion of the webinar, “Towards Startup Winery Profitability: When do I start Making Money?” also has a lot of great information, although it is not directly related to customer satisfaction.

The Northern Grapes Project is funded by the USDA’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Project #2011-51181-30850

Chrislyn A. Particka, PhD

Extension Support Specialist

Cornell University

Department of Horticultural Sciences

630 W. North Street

Geneva, NY 14456


315-787-2449 (desk)

315-787-2216 (fax)