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UW Extension Offers Grape Growing Symposium in Lander May 21

May 10, 2022
people outside on a rainy day listening to someone
Participants of last year’s grape workshop at UW’s Sheridan Research and Extension Center listen to a presentation about starting grapevines. A similar symposium May 21 in Lander will focus on the basics of growing grapes in Wyoming and will include a local vineyard tour. (UW Photo)

University of Wyoming Extension will offer a one-day educational program on growing grapes in the state Saturday, May 21, at Central Wyoming College’s (CWC) Lander campus.

Led by UW Extension Educator Jeremiah Vardiman, the symposium will provide attendees with the information needed to start their own vineyards as well as a hands-on demonstration at a local vineyard.

Vardiman, a northwest area UW Extension agriculture and horticulture educator based in Park County, says that, although the symposium is designed with beginners in mind, those interested in growing grapes, who are currently growing grapes or who want to expand their knowledge of grapes are welcome to attend.

The classroom session will begin at 8 a.m. at CWC’s Lander campus, located at 120 Enterprise Blvd. The session will focus on the basics of growing grapes in Wyoming. Featured topics will include site selection and the varieties of grapes best suited to the state’s climate and soils. Lunch, as well as refreshments in the morning and afternoon, is included in the $35 registration fee.

In the afternoon, participants will tour a local vineyard. It is a good opportunity to take the discussion outdoors and see what growers are doing in the area, Vardiman says. During this session, attendees will learn about planting vines, training and pruning, pest management, harvest timing and other helpful topics.

The symposium will wrap up at 5 p.m.

Growing grapes is a new venture in Wyoming, Vardiman explains, but interest is growing. He says it is feasible to grow grapes in many parts of the state. The main requirement is that the growing season must include a frost-free period.

Currently, vineyards are cultivated in Cheyenne, Torrington and Huntley in the southeast portion of the state; Casper, Riverton and Lander in central Wyoming; and Sheridan and nearby communities in northern Wyoming. Powell and Worland also have climates suitable for grape production.

Funded by a grant from the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, the upcoming symposium in Lander is UW Extension’s second grape growing workshop this spring.

Vardiman reports the recent two-day vineyard program in Casper was well received.

“There was a lot of discussion and positive feedback,” he says. “People enjoyed the course and learned from it. I’m looking forward to doing more.”

For more information and to register for the latest event, click here.

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