Montana winemaking meeting in Helena

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The Montana Grape and Winery Association will celebrate its fifth year with an annual meeting in Helena, March 21-23, timed to coincide with the Montana State Legislature, and giving them an opportunity to get to know the growers and winemakers and taste some of Montana’s great wines.

With over 60 vineyards and 20 licensed wineries, the industry is expanding rapidly. The event will include speakers who work on the development and improvement of cold-hardy grapes that thrive in the Montana’s climate, and from noted winemakers who will offer tips and knowledge for improvements. Mike White from Iowa State University will chronicle Iowa’s journey over 20 years, going from five wineries to 105.

Montana’s climate is unique to the cold-hardy grape industry compared to other parts of the world. Montana has a semi-arid climate that enhances grape quality and reduces disease pressure allowing for less inputs. MTGWA is currently working with the Western Montana Agricultural Research Center in Corvallis on a $130,000 USDA grant to study vineyard management to improve grape quality. The grant is starting its second of a three-year study.

The event lasts through Saturday noon at the Delta Colonial Hotel in Helena and is open to anyone interested in the industry, although advance registration is needed. For more information, visit montanagrapeandwine.com, or contact: Larry Robertson 406-253-9641 or Alyssa Griffith 406-544-2945.

This release was provided by the Montana Newspaper Association, which received payment for sharing the release.

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