I need to restart my vine education. I can tell by my lonely little Golden Muscat vine that things grow differently here in Oregon. No more twelve-foot shoots like back in Missouri. No more six or seven tons of fruit hanging on every acre. A lot less rain during the growing season. It all sounds ideal. Growing grapes should be a snap here compared to the Midwest, right? But I'm sure there is plenty I need to learn about the quirks and challenges a cooler region with fewer heat units during the growing season.
So I'm starting with Oregon Viticulture, a collection of articles and academic papers edited by Edward Hellman and published by the OSU press. The opening chapter is by Susan Sokol Blosser, a pioneer of the local industry who also penned what will likely be my next book on Oregon winegrowing.
Beyond books, there are other educational options. OSU offers four year degrees. They also have a number of workshops, programs and newsletters keyed on this region. If you don't have the time to go back to school, the Northwest Viticulture Center in Salem offers associate degrees, certificate programs and very specific enology and viticulture courses. Washington State also offers what is reputedly one of the best low residency certificate programs in the country.
Of course the best crash course is to volunteer to perform menial labor in someone's vineyard. I learned a lot at Michael Amigoni's vinifera vineyard in Centerview, Missouri. Check out his blog and see how much fruit is currently hanging on his Mourvedre trellises.