University of Missouri-Columbia
MU Southwest Center
Agricultural Experiment Station
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
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Mt. Vernon, Lawrence County

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Email: Carla Rathmann

Horticulture Questions:
Email: Andy Thomas
(417)466-0065

Superintendent:
Dr. Mike Collins, bio
14548 Highway H
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712
Phone: 417-466-2148
FAX: 417-466-2109
Email: CollinsMic@missouri.edu

Southwest Center RUMINATIONS
July - September, 2008
Vol. 14, No. 3

New Vineyard Established at SW Center

by Andrew L. Thomas

After a hiatus of more than 20 years, grapes are once again growing at the Southwest Center. Two studies involving the promising wine-grape cultivar `Chambourcin' were planted this summer, with a third study slated for installation next winter.

The new vineyard, located just north of Hwy. H across from the Southwest Center headquarters building, covers two acres and will eventually contain nearly 1,000 plants. This is an ambitious and costly project made possible by a number of very generous donors (see sidebar), and with direction and cooperation from the Institute for Continental Climate V i t i - culture and Enology (ICCVE), located on the MU campus in Columbia.

Missouri now has about 78 wineries with more opening every year as the quality and distinctiveness of Missouri wines continue to improve. Wine tasting and "agri-tourism" are becoming increasingly popular in Missouri, as is the interest in locally-produced, value-added agricultural products such as wine and grape juice.

In order to meet this increasing demand for highquality grapes and grape products in Missouri, we must entice new producers to enter the market while encouraging established producers to expand and improve production. Both basic and cutting-edge research conducted by the University will help provide the scientifically-based guidance needed to make grapes a major commodity in Missouri once again.

Chambourcin is a very promising grape cultivar for Missouri, and especially southwest Missouri. It is a European / American interspecific hybrid that was developed in France by Joannes Seyve, and released in 1963. Its pedigree is uncertain, but is believed to be based on Seibel hybrids and a number of undetermined American grape species. Chambourcin is a highyielding, cold-hardy grape with good resistance to fungal disease that produces a deep colored, full-bodied red wine. It has been widely planted in France, Australia, southeastern Canada, northeastern USA, and increasingly in the midwestern USA. One source estimates that there are now about 800 acres of Chambourcin in the US - well, make that 802.

The first of the three studies will evaluate the performance of Chambourcin grafted onto 11 experimental rootstocks versus self-rooted (ungrafted) plants. The second study is an evaluation of Chambourcin either self-rooted or grafted onto three promising rootstocks (1103P, 3309C, SO4) in combination with three irrigation regimens. The third experiment (to be planted next winter) will be an establishment study comparing the effectiveness of several training methods that can be utilized to bring grapevines into production.

We hope to begin harvesting grapes in 2010, with full production a few years later. We also look forward to eventually expanding our grape and vineyard research beyond this initial two acres into additional cultivars and production techniques.

As Missouri's grape and wine industry continues to develop, the University looks forward to conducting research guided by the needs and demands of our grape and wine producers.

A young ‘Chambourcin’ grapevine recently planted as part of a new long-term grape research project at the SW Center.
Justin Robertson (ICCVE employee) and Angel Ramsey (MU graduate student) carefully hand plant grape vines.
The nearly completed vineyard; still awaiting installation of end anchors and wires for trellises.


The Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station is the research arm of the
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
at the University of Missouri-Columbia

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