Bryan Hed, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, Penn State Extension

With a new season underway, I’d like to talk about some of the recent grape disease research that’s being conducted at Penn State. For this blog, we revisit Grapevine leafroll disease and leaf removal for fruit rot control.

Grapevine leafroll disease or GLD is associated with the presence of phloem inhabiting plant viruses of the family Closteroviridae. These viruses generally cause a degeneration of the primary phloem in shoots, leaves, and cluster stems. There are currently five species of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses; GLRaV-1, 2, 3, 4, and 7, and these viruses, especially GLRaV-1 and 3 have been spread across long distances (worldwide) through the sale and distribution of infected nursery material. Short distance spread of GLRaV-1, 3, and 4, within the vineyard or between adjacent vineyards, can occur by phloem-feeding insect vectors, specifically species of mealybugs and scales. No vectors have yet been discovered for GLRaV-2 and 7, which don’t appear to be as commonly found in northeastern vineyards.

The most obvious symptoms of the disease are cupping and loss of chlorophyll in the leaves in late summer and fall, during the ripening period. On red-fruited varieties, like Vitis vinifera‘Cabernet Franc’, leaves of infected vines can display red coloration of the interveinal tissue, while veins remain green. On white-fruited varieties like Chardonnay, symptoms are less noticeable and leaves tend to look yellowish and cupped. These symptoms are not necessarily diagnostic of the disease and may be confused with symptoms of nutrient deficiencies, water stress, and even crown gall. Therefore confirmation of infection by GLRaVs can only be made in the laboratory through serological or molecular analysis of phloem tissues in leaf petiole or dormant cane samples of suspect vines. More significant, and perhaps less recognized effects of GLD are reduced yield and vegetative growth, and even lower cold hardiness–a factor of critical importance for varieties grown in the northeastern U.S. GLD can also lead to a delay in fruit maturity with negative effects on fruit chemistry at harvest (lower soluble solids, higher titratable acidity), and reduced color development in red grapes of V. vinifera grapevines; all factors that might adversely impact perceived wine quality. Vineyards can be scouted annually for GLD during the ripening period, and tissue samples from symptomatic vines can be sent to a laboratory for confirmation.

There is no curative treatment for GLD as infection by GLRaVs is permanent, and the disease is best managed through removal or roguing of infected vines and replanting with certified virus-free material. So if you’re planning to order vines soon for planting a new Vitis vinifera vineyard next spring, I would strongly suggest the use of certified material. Research has shown that local spread of GLRaV-1, 3, and 4 can be minimized by targeting mobile stages of the vectors (mealybug and soft scale crawlers) with well-timed insecticide applications. There are no known sources of resistance to GLRaVs among Vitis species and these viruses have been found in V. labrusca, to Vitis interspecific hybrids, and V. vinifera. Infections of V. labrusca appear to remain latent or dormant and have not been shown to result in visual symptoms of the disease or economic impact, though research on native varieties has been minimal. On the other hand, V. vinifera is severely affected, and GLD has been shown to result in substantial economic losses among those cultivars.

Grapevine leafroll disease is nothing new to most of the world and symptoms of the disease were noted in French vineyards 165 years ago. But it seems relatively new to the northeastern U.S. grape and wine industry partly because V. vinifera grapevines, the species most dramatically affected, are relatively new to this industry. Therefore, as the acreage of V. vinifera in the northeast continues to expand and become a larger part of the premium wine industry, our encounters and frustrations with GLD will likely increase.

Surveys conducted in New York, Virginia, Ohio, and more recently, Pennsylvania, have confirmed the presence of these viruses throughout the major grape growing regions of the northeast. In Pennsylvania, we began our efforts by conducting an online survey to collect information from grape growers. In July of 2017, a link to a brief online questionnaire was sent out to 105 Pennsylvania wine grape growers across the Commonwealth to collect information about what varieties they grow, whether or not they have seen symptoms of leafroll virus in their vineyards, and if they would be willing to cooperate in the confidential collection of tissue samples from their vineyards blocks for determining the presence of these viruses.

In this initial phase of the project, sample collection focused on four cultivars of Vitis vinifera (Cabernet franc, Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling) and one French hybrid cultivar, Chambourcin, that were deemed among the most important cultivars in the PA industry. Twenty-eight cooperators were growing these cultivars and were selected for tissue collection. Growers were individually contacted via email and arrangements were made to collect leaf petiole samples from their vineyard blocks. Of these 28 growers, 22 reported they had seen leafroll-like symptoms in their vineyards. In late summer/early fall of 2017, samples were collected from 42 vineyard blocks from 16 locations. Samples were collected from symptomatic and non-symptomatic vines, in a randomized manner, and transported back to the laboratory and stored at 4°C until serological analysis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or ELISA.

Overall, about 36% of the 42 blocks were positive for leafroll virus in 2017. Fourteen percent of the Chambourcin blocks sampled contained vines that tested positive for leafroll virus 1 and/or 3. Amongst the V. vinifera blocks sampled, 39% contained vines that tested positive for leafroll virus 1 and/or 3. Specifically, 29, 38, 42, and 50% of the Riesling, Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet franc blocks were positive for leafroll virus, respectively. At one location where we were able to collect data on all four V. vinifera cultivars and where there were many vines positive for leafroll virus among all cultivars, there was a good correlation among red varieties between vines that showed symptoms (red, curled leaves) and vines that tested positive. However, among white varieties (Riesling and Chardonnay) the correlation was poor. This may indicate that it is harder to visually identify suspicious vines among white cultivars than it is among reds.

It appears that grapevine leafroll viruses are widespread and can be found in many grape growing areas of Pennsylvania. Among the varieties sampled in 2017, Cabernet franc was the most heavily infected by the viruses. However, this could change as we plan to expand the survey into more vineyards in 2018 which we were not able to reach in 2017. We also have identified healthy and infected grapevines within the same vineyard. These vineyards can be revisited in subsequent seasons to test disease spread to healthy vines. Furthermore, studies will be performed to test the impact of grapevine leafroll disease on grape quality and productivity in Pennsylvania, with the ultimate goal to mitigate the economic impact of the disease on the PA wine industry.

These surveys are an important and necessary first step toward determining the impact of GLRaVs and their associated disease. These viruses can have a significant impact on vineyard health and fruit quality, especially for those operations invested in the culture of premium V. vinifera. It is therefore essential for academic institutions to continue to develop research programs around this important group of pathogens and create a growing body of information that will help vineyard managers reduce their spread and impact. Below are some references that I drew from for this bit on leafroll viruses and GLD. The last reference is available free, online, and is a great review of GLD by some of the leading experts from New York, California, and Washington.

Bahder, B., Alabi, O., Poojari, S., Walsh, D., and Naidu, R. 2013. A Survey for Grapevine Viruses in Washington State ‘Concord’ (Vitis x labruscana L.) Vineyards. Plant Health Progress, August 5, 2013. American Phytopathological Society (online).

Compendium of Grape Diseases, Disorders, and Pests. 2nd edition, 2015. Editors Wayne F. Wilcox, Walter D. Gubler, and Jerry K. Uyemoto. The American Phytopathological Society. Pp. 118-119.

Naidu RA, Rowhani A, Fuchs M, Golino D, Martelli GP. 2014. Grapevine leafroll: a complex viral disease affecting a high-value fruit crop. Plant Dis. 98: 1172–85.

More on Botrytis bunch rot/sour rot control from the church of fruit-zone leaf removal

The practice of leaf removal for bunch rot control is based on concepts developed many years ago by lots of research that examined its effects on fruit-zone microclimate, source limitation, and fruit set, among other things. In short, removal of leaves from nodes in the fruit-zone increases sunlight exposure, air circulation, and pesticide penetration to developing fruit. This creates a fruit zone environment that is much less conducive to the development of Botrytis and other harvest-rot-inducing microorganisms that prefer to do their dirty work in darkness, still air and high humidity. Indeed, the most consistently successful bunch rot control programs will not simply rely on Botrytis specific fungicides but will integrate cultural methods like fruit-zone leaf removal

Fruit-zone leaf removal has generally been applied between fruit set and veraison. But there is a growing body of information being developed around early fruit zone leaf removal(ELR) and its effects on the development of Botrytis bunch rot and sour rot. ELR is the removal of leaves in the fruit zone before, or at the beginning of, bloom, and interest in this area of research has increased in several areas of the world in recent years. For example, recent research in Italy by Stefano Poni and his colleagues details the effects of ELR on crop load management, fruit and wine quality, and disease control, especially for late season bunch rots. Here in the U.S., research to study the effects of ELR is being conducted in places like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York, among other areas. But why is there added interest in ELR for bunch rot control?

In addition to fruit zone environment, cluster compactness plays a large role in harvest rot development. A three-year study we conducted with Vignoles over 15 years ago clearly showed that the more compact the cluster (measured as the number of berries per length of the cluster), the more rot we observed developing in that cluster. It’s no accident that many of the most bunch rot susceptible varieties typically produce clusters of tight or compact architecture (Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Riesling, Vignoles). The removal of the most mature, photosynthetically active leaves (those in the fruit zone) before or during bloom, starves the inflorescences for sugars and reduces the number of flowers that set fruit. Fewer berries per cluster generally result in looser clusters that develop less bunch rot. Taken together, ELR combines the benefits of an improved fruit zone environment with less susceptible clusters and generally greater reductions in bunch rot development than what would be achieved with post fruit set leaf removal (which would not, theoretically, reduce cluster compactness). When we examined ELR for six consecutive seasons in our experimental Chardonnay vineyard, we found that we could eliminate two Botrytis-specific fungicide sprays and achieve harvest rot control that was equivalent to, or better than, a full Botrytis spray program (four sprays). This adds to the appeal of ELR as Botrytis fungicides are often the most expensive fungicide inputs in rot control programs, and reducing chemical pesticide inputs is a significant response to the growing public interest in agricultural products with a healthier profile (though some may debate how relevant a healthier profile is to the consumption of wine!).

But there are potential drawbacks to ELR (it’s always something). For example, the reduction in berry number per cluster generally results in a reduction in cluster weight that can result in a reduction in yield. This can be a downside to ELR in operations where yield reduction is unacceptable to production goals. However, over the course of the six years in our Chardonnay experiment, we were able to minimize or eliminate yield reduction by ELR, while maintaining bunch rot reductions. So reductions in yield by ELR can be managed to some extent. Also, in our experience, ELR seemed more effective on some varieties (Chardonnay and Vignoles) than others (Pinots?) in terms of reducing compactness and bunch rot. There were also seasonal variations from year to year. So there is some level of inconsistency with this method; sometimes the rot reductions are statistically significant and sometimes they aren’t.

More recently, research with ELR has been taken a step further to examine the mechanization of this practice; manual leaf removal is expensive and time-consuming, and timing can be critical. Experiments over the past several years in Europe and the U.S. have shown that the use of air pulse leaf removal technology can remove enough fruit zone leaf area (about 35-50% of that which would be achieved by hand removal (100%)) to mimic the effects of manual leaf removal. As we expected, this technology appears to work most efficiently (removes the most leaf tissue in the fruit-zone) on more upright, two-dimensional training systems like vertical shoot position (VSP) or four-arm kniffen systems, when compared to more three-dimensional training systems like single, high-wire, no-tie systems. Mechanization is often the key to greater adoption of a practice, but only if it improves economic sustainability. An air pulse leaf removal system can represent an investment of tens of thousands of dollars. This would hardly be cost-effective for operations with just a few acres to treat per season. However, large farms that have lots of acres to treat may benefit through mechanization of ELR. Also, in regions where there is a concentration of wine grape acreage (ie, the Lake Erie region, Finger Lakes, etc), this machinery could be shared, or the work contracted, to ease the capital investment necessary on a per farm basis.

So ELR is not a silver bullet. I would instead consider it some buckshot in a silver shotgun shell that is still under development; it can be an important component of an effective, integrated bunch rot control program. If you have bunch rot susceptible varieties such as those mentioned above, and would like to apply this practice in your vineyard, I would recommend you test it out on a few vines first and compare the results to the rest of your vineyard (all other things being equal) to see if this is something that will work for you. As I mentioned above, the results may vary somewhat from one variety to the next and from one season to the next.

And one last thing for wine grape growers with sour rot susceptible varieties: please review Wayne Wilcox’ newsletter from last year (June 2017) regarding the Cornell research on sour rot control. Wayne’s graduate student, Dr. Megan Hall, completed some groundbreaking work on the biology of grape sour rot and the development of effective ways to minimize it by targeting fruit flies in the vineyard.






Grapevine Bud Break 101

By Dr. Michela Centinari, Assistant Professor of Viticulture, Department of Plant Science

Grape growers across Pennsylvania would agree that grapevines are breaking bud later this spring compared to the past few years. Some of you might be relieved and are hoping that a late bud break will reduce the likelihood of spring frost injury, particularly for those cultivars that tend to break buds early, while others might wonder if a late bud break will mean a shorter growing season and what impact this might have on fruit and wine chemistry.

This might be a good opportunity for a short review on bud break (or bud burst if you prefer) and some of the major factors that influence it.

What is bud break?

Bud break is one of the grapevine’s key growth or phenological stages. Phenology is defined as “the study of the timing of natural phenomena that take place periodically in plants and animals1.” Many vineyard operations related to canopy, nutrient, disease and insect management are conducted at specific phenological stages, so it is important for growers to record dates for bud break and other important growth stages.

Bud break is commonly described as “the appearance of green tissue through the bud scales2” or “the emergence of a new shoot from a bud during the spring3.”   There are several systems used to precisely identify bud break and other key phenological stages. One of the systems most widely used today is the modified Eichhorn Lorenz (E-L) system, which was developed by Eichhorn and Lorenz in 1977, modified by Coombe in 19954, and later revised by Coombe and Dry in 20043.  A primary reason why the E-L system was revised multiple times was that the visual characteristics during the early stages of bud growth might vary among cultivars. For example, in some cultivars buds “emerge as hair-covered cone from between the scale without any sign of green tissues” while in other cultivars buds can have “green tips visible early through the hairs1.” To avoid, or at least reduce confusion, the latest E-L system modification (2004) defines grapevine bud break when leaf tips are visible (Figure 1).

Screenshot 2018-05-14 18.29.50.png

Although there might be slight differences in how growers or scientists define bud break, using a consistent method across years and cultivars is important in order to make comparisons.  Photos of the modified E-L system and information on how to use grapevine phenology to improve vineyard management can be found by clicking on these hyperlinks: modified E-L system by The Australian Wine Research Institute and Grapevine Phenology Revisitedby Fritz Westover5.

Why was bud break late this year in Pennsylvania?

Grapevine phenology is strongly tied to air temperature. Once buds fulfill their chilling requirements they are in a state of eco-dormancy, which means they are dormant only because of cool or cold weather. In temperate regions, buds tend to reach this state by early winter, therefore, warm weather in late winter or early spring might result in early bud break and consequently increase the risk of spring frost injury.

An air temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) has traditionally been used as the base temperature for grapevines, as it is the temperature threshold below which grapevines will not grow. Hence, mean daily temperatures above approximately 50 °F (or, more specifically, 46 to 50 °F) induce bud break and shoot growth6. Grapevine base temperature is higher than that reported for fruit trees, such as apple, peach, cherry, and apricot (the base temperature ranges from approximately 39 to 41 °F)7. Base temperature for bud development varies between grapevine species and cultivars, and the physiological basis of this thresholds is still unclear2.

Over the years, many models have tried to use temperature data to predict bud break and other key phenological stages. Some models are based on the accumulation of temperatures above the mean daily temperature of 50 °F, for example, Growing Degree Days (GDD), while others use temperature averages rather than summations8. However, there is not(at least to my knowledge) a solid and simple formula that we can use to predict when bud break will happen.

GDD calculated from January 1 to bud break may not be a very good way to answer the question: Are we going to have an early bud break?  Hans Walter-Peterson, Finger Lakes Grape Program, Cornell University, used data collected over many years in the Lake Erie region to show that the date of bud break for Concord was not well correlated with GDD (base 50 °F) accumulated from January 1 to bud break. Using the total GDD for this period, however, does not take into consideration when GDD accumulates. For example, having seven consecutive days with mean temperature above 50 °F might not be the same of having seven days with the same temperature but interspaced by a long period of cool/cold weather with mean temperatures below 50 °F.

Although further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between bud break and temperature, air temperature still remains the dominating factor affecting bud break.  The number of GDD accumulated from January 1 through April 30 in 2018 across Pennsylvania was definitely lower than the accumulated GDD during the same months in 2017 (Table 1). This indeed had an influence on grapevine bud break occurring later in 2018 compared to 2017.

Screenshot 2018-05-14 18.30.51

Time versus rate of bud break

While the number of GDD accumulated from January 1 through April 30, 2018, was lower than the same period in 2017, the number of GDD accumulated during the first week of May 2018 was, however, much higher than the number accumulated during the same period in 2017 (Table 2). Although bud development started later this year, you might have noticed a greater rate of bud break or higher speed of bud development due to consecutive days of high, above average daily temperatures at the beginning of May.  The rate of bud break increases as the air temperature rises above 50 ℉ up to approximately 86 ℉ (30 °C). However, at higher temperatures, the rate of bud break might start to decline6.

Screenshot 2018-05-14 18.31.19

Other factors to consider:

Species and cultivars:  The base temperature requirements vary amongst grape species (e.g., V. berlandieri > V. rupestris > V. vinifera > V. riparia) and cultivars (for example, Riesling > Chardonnay)6. Regardless of the seasonal weather conditions, the order of bud break across different species and cultivars tends to be consistent. Those with a lower base temperature threshold will break buds earlier than those with a higher base temperature. For example, Chardonnay always bursts earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon.

Soil and root temperature: There is contradictory evidence about the role of soil and root temperature on the timing of bud break. Studies conducted in California9,10found that Cabernet Sauvignon bud break was positively correlated with soil temperature: bud break occurred several days earlier when soil temperature increased from 52 ℉ to approximately 77 °F.  In a more recent study, however, soil temperature did not influence the timing of Shiraz bud break11.

Number of buds left at pruning: The number of buds (or nodes) retained at pruning (24 to 72 per vine) had little influence on bud break and other phenological stages of Sauvignon Blanc vines up to veraison12.

Bud position along the cane: When dormant canes are left upright, the more distal buds generally tend to break first and suppress the growth of the buds at the base of the cane (closer to the cordon) (Figure 2). This phenomenon is called apical dominance or, more precisely, correlative inhibition. In frost prone areas, to delay bud break of cordon trained vines, canes can be pruned back to 2-bud spurs when the distal buds reach bud break. For more information please refer to a past blog post: How does delaying spur pruning to the onset or after bud burst impact vine performance?

Screenshot 2018-05-14 18.31.41

In some cultivars, for example, Cabernet Franc, correlative inhibition may cause inconsistent bud break in cane-pruned vines.  Meaning that buds located in the central part of the cane might not open or they might develop shorter, weaker shoots than those positioned at the beginning or at the end of the cane. There are, however, practices that can be used to promote uniform bud break along the canes, these include bending or arching (Figure 3), and partial cracking of canes6.

Screenshot 2018-05-14 18.42.27

Age of the vine: Within the same cultivar, the timing of bud break and other key phenological stages may vary between young vines that are not in full production yet (3rd leaf or younger) and mature, established vines (4th leaf or older)5.


  1. Iland P, Dry P, Proffitt T, Tyerman S. 2011. The grapevine: From the science to the practice of growing vines for wine. Patrick Iland Wine Promotions.
  2. Creasy GL and Creasy LL. 2009. Grapes. Wallingford, UK; Cambridge, MA: CABI.
  3. Coombe BG and Dry P. 2004. Viticulture 1 – Resources. 2nd edition. Winetitle
  4. Coombe BG. 1995. Adoption of a system for identifying grapevine growth stages. Aust J Grape Wine Res 1:104–
  5. Westover F. 2018. Grapevine phenology revisited. Wines and Vines.
  6. Keller M. 2010. The science of grapevines: Anatomy and physiology. Academic Press.
  7. Moncur MW, Rattigan K, Mackenzie DH, and McIntyre GN. 1989. Base temperatures for budbreak and leaf appearance of grapevines. Am J Enol Vitic 40:21–26.
  8. Malheiro AC, Campos R, Fraga H, Eiras-Dias J, Silvestre J, and Santos JA. 2013. Winegrape phenology and temperature relationships in the Lisbon wine region, Portugal. J Int Sci Vigne Vin47: 287–299.
  9. Kliewer WM. 1975. Effect of root temperature on budbreak, shoot growth, and fruit-set of ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ grapevines. Am J Enol Vitic 26:82–
  10. Zelleke A and Kliewer WM. 1979. Influence of root temperature and rootstock on budbreak, shoot growth, and fruit composition of Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines grown under controlled condi­tions. Am J Enol Vitic 30:312–317.
  11. Field SK, Smith JP, Holzapfel BP, Hardie WJ, and Emery RJN. 2009. Grapevine response to soil temperature: xylem cytokinins and carbohydrate reserve mobilization from budbreak to anthesis. Am J Enol Vitic 60: 164–172.
  12. Greven MM, Neal SM, Hall AJ, and Bennett JS. 2015. Influence of retained node number on Sauvignon Blanc grapevine phenology in a cool climate. Aust J Grape Wine Res21, 290–301.





Bryan Hed, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, Penn State Extension

As the new grape growing season commences, this is a good time to revisit some of the fungicide updates that were discussed at grower meetings earlier this year. While these materials are available to growers in most states, some of them have not yet cleared the extra hurdles required for legal use in New York, and in those instances, I make specific mention of that. I hope this blog will be useful for growers in the 2018 season.


First, Aprovia/Aprovia Top. The active ingredient in Aprovia is solatenol (benzovindiflupyr), and while it does not represent a new chemical class for us grape growers (succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor or SDHI) it is a new and improved chemistry. The SDHI fungicides belong to FRAC Group 7, which also includes chemistries in products like Endura and Pristine (boscalid) and Luna Experience (fluopyram). Aprovia was available for use in most states last year but has now been labeled for use in New York as well. As a solo product, Aprovia is very effective for the control of powdery mildew as trials in NY over several years have shown. Trials at Penn State over the past couple of seasons have also revealed some efficacy on black rot, but I would consider it more in line with “suppression” of this disease and I cannot recommend it for black rot control, especially on susceptible varieties. Also, it should not be relied on for significant control of Botrytis, unlike other SDHIs. The label also lists control of Phomopsis and anthracnose, but I have not seen any real proof of that. Penn State has tested this product over two years on Concord, to examine it for any potential crop injury issues to that variety. in comparison to Revus Top, a standard spray program, and an untreated check, there were was no injury to Concord grape from Aprovia, while, as expected, Revus Top caused severe damage to leaves developing at the time of application.

Aprovia Top, on the other hand, is a mixture of two active ingredients: i) solatenol, the active ingredient in Aprovia and ii) difenoconazole, a DMI fungicide with very good to excellent activity against powdery mildew, black rot, and anthracnose. Aprovia Top is also labeled for control of Phomopsis, but again, local experience and published results of trials with Phomopsis is lacking. The label rate for Aprovia Top is 8.5 to 13.5 fl oz/A; 13.5 fl oz of Aprovia Top provides about the same amount of solatenol as 10.5 fl oz of Aprovia; it also provides about the same amount of difenoconazole as 18 fl oz of Inspire Super, but falls a little short of that found in 7 fl oz of Revus Top. Aprovia and Aprovia Top have a 12 hr REI and a 21-day PHI. As with all the products containing difenoconazole, Aprovia Top should not be applied to Concord grape and other varieties on which difenoconazole injury has been reported. This includes Brianna, Canadice, Concord Seedless, Frontenac (minor), Glenora, Noiret (minor), Skujinsh 675, St. Croix (minor), and Thomcord.

Intuity. The active ingredient in Intuity is mandestrobin, and if that sort of sounds familiar, it’s because this is another strobilurin fungicide (FRAC group 11).  Intuity offers protectant and antisporulant activity against Botrytis, for which it is exclusively recommended, though it will provide suppression of powdery mildew, at least where strobilurin resistance has not yet developed. In limited NY and PA trials, Intuity has provided good to fair control of Botrytis equivalent to current standards like Elevate, Vangard, Scala, and Switch. The label rate is 6 fl. oz/A with a maximum number of three applications (two is recommended) and 18 fl oz per season. Do not make sequential applications; rotate with non-FRAC 11 materials (Elevate, Endura, Fracture, Inspire super, Rovral, Scala, Switch, Vangard) and allow at least 20 days between Intuity applications. Intuity is at risk for resistance development by the Botrytis fungus and it is essential that its use is limited to rotations with other, unrelated Botrytis fungicides both within and between seasons to reduce the development of resistance.  Intuity is rainfast within 2 hours of application, has an REI of 12 hours and PHI of 10 days. Do not use Intuity on V. labrusca, V. labruscahybrids or other non-viniferahybrids. Avoid mixing with organosilicone surfactants. Intuity has not yet been cleared for use in New York.

PresidioPresidio has been with us for about 10 years now and is used for downy mildew control, for which it has been very effective. Unfortunately, Valent has pulled the grape use from the Presidio label and any new product will not be legal for use on grapes this year. However, grape growers will be able to legally use up old stock of Presidio with the grape use pattern on the label.

FLINT ExtraA new formulation of an older material, FLINT Extra is a liquid (500SC) formulation that replaces Flint 50WG. The use rate of the new product is the same (in terms of active ingredient) as the old product. In other words, 2 fl oz of FLINT Extra 500SC = 2 oz Flint 50WG. But the new product is labeled to increase the application of active ingredient per acre. For example, for powdery mildew, the new product label lists a 3-3.5 fl oz rate as opposed to the 1.5-2 oz rate on the old product label. This represents a doubling of the amount of active ingredient for powdery mildew control by the new product. For Botrytis, the old 3 oz rate is now 3.8 fl oz, and for black rot, the old 2 oz rate is now almost doubled on the new label to 3.5-3.8 fl oz. Well, what does this mean then in practical terms for grape growers in the northeast? It could mean better disease control with the new product. However, if you already have powdery mildew resistance to the strobilurins in your vineyard, then increasing the amount of active ingredient probably won’t boost efficacy against that disease, and relying on the new formulation for powdery mildew control is risky. The same goes for Botrytis control, as strobilurin resistance among Botrytis isolates becomes more common. For black rot, it could represent improved control of that disease. However, I thought the 2 oz black rot rate for the old material was pretty effective already, and to my knowledge, there have been no cases of black rot resistance to the strobilurins (though I’m not aware anyone has been looking for it). And yes, it is registered for use in New York.

That’s what new. This next section borrows from Wayne Wilcox’ fungicide updates from last year. I have updated that information with new information from some of our research trials as well.

Fracture. According to Wayne’s insights last year, “Fracture is a product whose active ingredient is a fragment of a naturally occurring plant protein, and which has been registered for use on grapes for a couple of years. It has a 4-hr REI and a 1-day PHI, and the residue of its active ingredient is exempt from tolerance by the US-EPA (i. e., it is considered safe enough to humans that there is no limit on the allowable residue level in/on food products)”. We’ve now tested it for powdery mildew control over two years in Concord and Chambourcin and consider its activity against that disease to be modest. New York trial results appear similar. Trial results for bunch rot control I think are a bit more promising; we got fair to good control of bunch rot on Vignoles with this product last year (as good as a standard Botrytis fungicide program), and we’re looking forward to testing it again for that purpose this season. New York trials with Fracture have also shown control of Botrytis as good as standard materials, as well as some activity against sour rot. Fracture is expensive but may appeal to growers looking to reduce reliance on synthetic fungicides for bunch rot control, especially if used in combination with strict sanitation and cultural controls like leaf removal. We’re hoping to look at Fracture again this season, in combination with pre-bloom mechanized leaf removal, for integrated bunch rot control on Vignoles.

Polyoxin D zinc salt. Polyoxin D zinc salt (PZS) is a relatively new fungicide active ingredient with very low mammalian toxicity that has been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as a “biochemical-like” pesticide. It degrades rapidly in the environment with a soil half-life of 2-3 days. Production of PZS occurs through a fermentation process using the soil bacterium Streptomyces cacaoi var. asoensis. The active ingredient inhibits chitin synthase, an enzyme essential for the production of chitin, an important component of fungal cell walls. The product is being sold as Tovano and OSO5%SC and is marketed through Certis USA. Over the past two seasons, our results with OSO on Concord and Chambourcin grapes have shown good to modest efficacy against powdery mildew, but no practical level of activity against black rot. For powdery mildew efficacy on fruit, OSO, at the 13 fl oz rate, was equal to or better than BadgeX2 (fixed copper), and equal to a standard rotational program of Quintec/Vivando/Toledo. As with most of the biopesticide type fungicides, cost per application is generally going to be higher than that of the standard synthetic fungicides.

LifeGard. LifeGard is another biopesticide approved for use on grapes in all states. It has provided really good results for the control of downy mildew in New York trials. Our past two years of testing in PA were a bust due to very dry conditions and little to no downy mildew up here in Erie County, PA. However, maybe we’ll get a good test of this product this year. LifeGard works by triggering a plants’ natural defense mechanisms against pathogens so the product may perform best after the vine has been ‘primed’ by an initial spray a few days before it is challenged with the pathogen. The label states that “initial triggering of plant defense response occurs within minutes of application, but 3-5 days are required to attain maximum level of protection”. This may be the reason our greenhouse inoculation trials with LifeGard were largely unsuccessful; we applied the pathogen just a few hours after application of the material instead of allowing ample time for the vine’s natural defense mechanisms to build up. Grapevines do not generally tend to respond to efforts to induce resistance, but the results from New York trials are encouraging and testing should continue.

There are several products also worth mentioning that have recently been made available to New York (and hence all) grape growers. Here is a brief recap of those materials.

  • Luna Experience: a combination product consisting of two unrelated active ingredients, tebuconazole, (a very familiar sterol-inhibitor (FRAC 3)) and fluopyram, a newer SDHI (FRAC 7). Luna Experience is labeled for powdery mildew control at 6.0–8.6 fl oz/A, and for Botrytis and black rot control at 8.0 – 8.6 fl oz/A. Trials in New York have obtained excellent control of powdery mildew with the 6 fl oz rate. For Botrytis, New York trials suggest the 6 fl oz rate works well from bloom through bunch closure but the 8 fl oz rate would be best by veraison or later, especially if there is any pressure. The higher rate is also recommended for black rot control for the first few weeks after bloom when berries are most susceptible. The fluopyram provides most of the powdery mildew control and all of the Botrytis control, while the tebuconazole provides most of the black rot activity. For resistance management, limit the number of applications of FRAC 7 materials (SDHIs) to two per season.
  • Zampro: We tested Zampro a number of years ago and found it to be an excellent material for downy mildew control. More extensive New York trials have gotten similar results. Though it has been approved for use in New York, it still cannot be used on Long Island. Zampro is another combination product of dimethomorph (FRAC 40, same as mandipropamid in Revus) and a new chemistry, ametoctradin.
  • Rhyme: The active ingredient in Rhyme is flutriafol (sterol inhibitor, FRAC 3) and extensive powdery mildew trials in New York have shown more consistent results at the 5 fl oz rate rather than the 4 fl oz rate: Rhyme was a little better than Rally (myclobutanil) and tebuconazole, about equal to Mettle (tetraconazole), but not as good as difenoconazole (the newer, more potent sterol inhibitor in Revus Top, Inspire Super, Quadris Top). It received a registration a couple years ago and is also available for use in New York as well (except for Long Island). Rhyme has excellent activity against black rot.
  • Topguard EQ: A combination product of flutriafol (just discussed above) and azoxystrobin (the ai in Abound). Obviously, this can’t be used in Erie County, PA, but is available to New York grape growers (except Long Island). The azoxystrobin picks up downy mildew (and Phomopsis?) that the flutriafol won’t, unless of course there is a significant presence of strobilurin resistant isolates of the downy mildew pathogen in your vineyard. For powdery mildew, the azoxystrobin adds a second mode of action against that disease, unless (once again) there is a significant presence of strobilurin resistant isolates of the powdery mildew pathogen in your vineyard. So, if you’re farming grapes in areas where sterol inhibitors and strobilurins have been used for many years and downy/powdery mildew resistance is suspected/likely or known, this product may not provide adequate control of these two important diseases, especially on highly susceptible wine varieties. What this product will definitely control is black rot: the azoxystrobin has excellent protective activity and flutriafol has excellent post-infection activity against this disease.

And finally, what’s new in the pipeline?

Miravis Prime. Miravis Prime is a product with two active ingredients: a new SDHI called adepidyn (FRAC 7) and an older, unrelated active ingredient known as fludioxonil (FRAC 12). This product is not yet registered for use on grapes, but federal registration may occur later this year, which will make it available for growers in most states (New York will probably have to wait at least another year). Our tests with Miravis Prime have shown good to excellent activity on powdery mildew, Botrytis, and black rot. Adepidyn (Miravis) provided excellent control of black rot in our 2015 and 2016 trials on Concord and Niagara fruit. The fludioxonil component in Miravis Prime is an older Botrytis fungicide, (introduced about 25 years ago) that is also found in a registered product called Switch (for Botrytis control in grapes). Having two active ingredients for Botrytis control makes this product effective at controlling Botrytis bunch rot disease in wine grapes.

Part 2 of this blog post will be published next Friday, May 18, 2018.

Herbicide Injury to Grapes from 2, 4-D, and Dicamba: Awareness and Prevention

Andy Muza, Penn State Extension – Erie County

In 2017, members of Penn State’s Grape Team received a number of reports from extension educators and grape growers around Pennsylvania concerning herbicide injury in their vineyards from drift. From pictures of injury symptoms, we concluded that the causes were mainly due to 2, 4-D and possibly also Dicamba, in one case.

In efforts to educate farmers concerning this problem for the upcoming season, members of Penn State’s  Grape and Field Crops Teams have been conducting presentations at meetings and writing articles concerning growth regulator herbicides and the potential for phytotoxicity from drift to crops sensitive to these herbicides.

Therefore, this article is going to concentrate on the growth regulator herbicides 2, 4-D, and Dicamba since these herbicides are the most likely to be implicated in spray drift cases.

However, also keep in mind that even herbicides registered for grapes have the potential to cause herbicide injury in vineyards if applied carelessly or if not applied according to the pesticide label.

Over the years, I have observed phytotoxicity in vineyards due to improper applications of simazine (Princep), diuron (Karmex), paraquat (Gramoxone) and most notably, glyphosate products (Roundup, Touchdown, etc.).  Of these herbicides registered for grapes, the most extensive injury has been due to misapplication of glyphosate products by grape growers themselves.

However, of much greater concern for grape growers are growth regulator (GR) type herbicides, which are not registered for grapes but are applied to other crops/non crop areas in proximity to vineyards. The concerns about these products are due to the fact that grapes are extremely sensitive to very low concentrations of GR herbicides and the potential for injury from drift.

Drift – is defined as the movement of a pesticide from the intended application site to an unintended site (i.e., off target movement). Spray drift results when fine spray droplets move in wind currents to non-target areas. Vapor drift occurs when spray material volatilizes from the application site and vapors are moved to off target areas. The risk of volatilization is directly related to air temperatures. Vapor may be generated under high temperatures during and after application.

Growth Regulator Herbicides                                                                                                                                      Grapes are extremely sensitive to growth regulator herbicides including the phenoxy, benzoic and pyridine classes of compounds. Herbicide concentrations of 100 times below the label rate have been reported to cause injury. The most common GR herbicides used are those containing 2,4–D or Dicamba. But others, which have been documented as causing injury to grapes, include: picloram (e.g.,Tordon), triclopyr (e.g., Garlon), and clopyralid (e.g. Stinger). All of the GR herbicides should be considered to have the potential to cause injury to grapes. Therefore, their use around vineyards should be discouraged.

GR herbicides are commonly applied to lawns, turf, pasture, agronomic crops (e.g., corn, cereals, sorghum) and noncropland (e.g., roadsides, right of ways). There is a wide variety of GR herbicides and for a partial listing of product trade names refer to Reference 1. Also, be aware that many prepackaged mixes may contain a GR herbicide.

Growth Regulator Herbicides – How they Work                                                                                                                                                      Auxins are plant hormones which regulate growth and development in the plant and are in the highest concentrations in the growing tips. Growth regulator (GR) herbicides mimic the action of these plant growth hormones. The herbicide molecules bind to auxin receptors and abnormal growth results due to disruption in the hormonal balance of the plant. These herbicides are systemic and translocate from absorption sites (i.e., leaves or roots) to areas of rapid growth. The youngest terminal growth is most severely affected.

2,4-D                                                                                                                                                                                     The most severe and most common cases of injury to grapevines due to growth regulator herbicides, that I have seen, have been caused by herbicides which contain 2,4-D. There are numerous products on the market with various trade names and these are available for both homeowner and commercial use.                                                                                                   Grape is considered one of the crops most susceptible to injury. Other crops sensitive to injury include: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, melons, squash, soybeans & other legumes.

2,4–D Formulations – products are formulated as both esters and amines.

Ester formulations – most ester formulations available today are much less volatile than previous products. However, there is still a greater risk of vapor drift with ester formulations than with amine formulations.

Amine salt formulations – are safer to use, especially at temperatures greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit

2, 4–D & Dicamba – have been reported to occur 1 miles or more downwind of where herbicide applications were applied. However, the most extensively injured vineyards are usually within closer proximity of the herbicide application.

Factors Affecting the Severity of Injury include:

Growth Stage of the vines at time of exposure – grapes are always sensitive BUT most extensive injury occurs if exposed during the period of rapid shoot growth (bud break – fruit set).

Vine Age – young vines are more likely to suffer greater injury or death than mature vines.

Level of Exposure – exposure to higher concentrations of GR herbicides or repeated exposures result in more severe injury.

Variety – all varieties are susceptible to GR herbicides but there are differences among cultivars (refer to Reference 2 ).

Symptoms of GR herbicide Injury

2,4-D Injury on Leaves – a variety of leaf distortions may occur such as: fan shaped, puckered leaves with pointed leaf margins (Fig. 1); small, narrow leaves with numerous, thick white veins and pointy leaf margins (Fig.2).

Screenshot 2018-03-29 12.45.56Screenshot 2018-03-29 12.46.01

Dicamba Injury on Leaves – Downward or upward cupping of leaves with a distinct marginal band of restricted growth and pointy leaf margins (Figures 3 and 4).

Screenshot 2018-03-29 12.59.00

2,4-D Injury on Shoots – Shoots may exhibit zigzag growth with shortened

internodes (Fig. 5). Shoot tips may stop growing or exhibit twisted growth with deformed leaves (Fig. 6).                                    Screenshot 2018-03-29 13.01.26


2,4-D Injury on Flowers/ Clusters – Injury to clusters can include: flower abortion; fruit set reduction;

reduction of fruit size (shot berries intermingled with normal size berries); delayed ripening; and reduction in fruit quality (Fig.7).

Screenshot 2018-03-29 12.46.51

Proactive Approach for Grape Growers to Minimize Problems

Grape growers need to take a proactive approach to minimize potential problems due to drift from 2,4-D, dicamba and other GR herbicides.

  • Inform your neighbors about your vineyard location – contact farmers, pesticide dealers, homeowners, commercial applicators (e.g., lawn care companies, county/state highway departments), if possible, within a mile of your vineyard. Your neighbors may not be aware that a vineyard is in close proximity or that commonly used GR herbicides can cause serious injury to grapevines.
  • Aerial maps – provide aerial maps of vineyard locations to farmers/applicators/homeowners.
  • Post Signs – post signs around the vineyard indicating crop sensitivity.

Applicator Practices to Reduce Risk of Growth Regulator Herbicide Injury                                                         

The Applicator Practices and References listed below can be used to educate farmers and commercial applicators about the hazards of using GR herbicides near vineyards.

  • Be aware of vineyards in close proximity of herbicide applications.
  • Read the herbicide label and follow precautions concerning spray drift.
  • Avoid application of growth regulator herbicides near vineyards from bud break through fruit set.
  • Use less volatile Amine formulations of GR herbicides.
  • Monitor weather conditions (wind speed and direction, temperature). Avoid spraying when wind speed is likely to cause spray droplets to drift. Spray when wind direction is moving away from vineyard. Avoid applications if a temperature inversion exists. Remember, high temperatures during and a few days after application increase the risk of vapor drift.
  • Use nozzles (e.g., air induction nozzles) that reduce drift by increasing droplet size.
  • Keep spray pressure at lower end of pressure range and boom height as close as possible to target.
  • Use a drift reducing additive.

What if Drift occurs or is suspected

  • Identify area affected.
  • Document the date and growth stage of the grapes.
  • Contact crop insurer as soon as possible (if applicable).
  • Identify the source of drift, if possible, and make a determination if you want to settle the problem amongst your neighbors. Severe injury settlements should be delayed until after next season’s harvest.
  • Flag both affected and unaffected plants. Take high reso­lution pictures weekly until symptoms subside. Document yields of affected and unaffected vines by variety. NOTE: A Leaf Index and Severity Rating and Verified Report and Loss Form by Washington State University (, Reference 3, provides valuable information on documentation procedures.
  • Contact your state department of agriculture (e.g., Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture), as soon as possible, if you cannot determine the source of the drift and/or you want to formalize the complaint.



  1. Preventing Herbicide Drift and Injury to Grapes
  2. Questions and Answers about Vineyard Injury from Herbicide Drift
  3. Leaf Index and Severity Rating & Leaf Index Report (Washington State University)

Updated dates and locations: Upcoming regional meetings with winemakers to meet Molly Kelly, Penn State Enology Extension Educator

The dates and locations for the state-wide meetings with the new enology extension educator, Molly Kelly, have been finalized:

  • Northeast: April 5, 2018 Nimble Hill Winery, 219 Windswept Lane, Mehoopany, PA 18629 (Updated address)
  • Southwest: April 25, 2018, Glades Pike Winery, 2208 Glades Pike (Rt. 31), Somerset, PA 15501
  • South Central: April 26, 2018, Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center, 290 University Dr., Biglerville, PA 17307
  • Northwest: May 3, 2018, **Change in location: South Shore Winery, 1120 Freeport Rd. Rt. 89, Northeast, PA 16428
  • Southeast: May 9th, 2018, Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery, 9850 Newtown Road, Breinigsville, PA 18031

All sessions will be from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm.

Please contact Molly at if you have any questions.

Please register by clicking on the link. (if link does not open, copy and paste into your browser’s address bar).

These sessions will include wine faults sensory training, a question and answer period and a tour of the host winery (if applicable). Attendees are also invited to bring one bottle of cellared wine to be assessed blindly by the group.

Sessions in Biglerville and Erie will include an additional optional sensory session with researchers from Penn State. They will be running a short sensory exercise after the meet and greet. They are studying the sensory characteristics of white wines in Pennsylvania and hope to survey wine professionals in order to compare responses with wine consumers. Your input will assist with important research that will directly impact the Pennsylvania wine industry.

These meetings are FREE!

We hope that you can join us and I look forward to meeting all of you!


Incorporating Microbiology Techniques in the Winery

By Molly Kelly

There are a number of spoilage microorganisms and yeasts that we are concerned with as winemakers. Two of the most common spoilage yeasts include Kloeckera apiculata and Brettanomyces bruxellensis. The most common form of yeast spoilage is due to Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Although mature grapes may harbor this spoilage yeast, the bigger problem can occur when winery equipment is infected due to poor sanitation practices. This yeast produces volatile phenols and acetic acid. Examples of wine flaws include aromas described as “medicinal” in white wines and “leather” or “horse sweat” in red wines. Other aromas descriptors include barnyard, wet dog, tar, tobacco, creosote, plastic and band aids.

The two major groups of wine spoilage bacteria can be placed in either the acetic acid bacteria (AAB) group or the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) group. The AAB includes the genera Acetobacter and Gluconobacter. Both have aerobic (requiring oxygen) metabolisms and thus their growth generally occurs on wine surfaces as a translucent film that tends to separate into a patchy appearance. In contrast, the LAB require low oxygen conditions for growth (i.e. they are microaerophilic to facultative anaerobic micro-organisms). The LAB includes the genera LactobacillusPediococcus and Oenococcus.

During fermentation the presence of such microbes may be indicated by a spontaneous or sluggish fermentation, or a spontaneous malolactic fermentation (MLF); or the presence of ethyl acetate, volatile acidity (VA) or other off-odors.

Winery Microbiology Laboratory

Because of these possible faults arising due to the presence of spoilage organisms, some wineries have incorporated sanitation monitoring and microbiological techniques into their production practices. Some considerations when planning a winery microbiology laboratory are: space considerations, availability of trained staff to perform testing, willingness to maintain adequate record-keeping, equipment costs as well as the cost of consumables.

Brett phase contrast

Brettanomyces spp. using phase contrast                                                                    Photo by David Hornack

Equipment/Microbiological Methods


A microscope capable of 1000x magnification is needed to view bacteria and yeast. These can cost anywhere from $1000-$3000 or more but bargains can be found on used microscopes. A phase-contrast microscope requires no staining of slides due to enhanced differences in refractive index between the microorganisms and surrounding medium. This feature also allows for rapid detection and response. The staff in the microbiology lab should have training in the proper use of a microscope as well as identification of microorganisms.

In addition to identifying spoilage organisms, a microscope can be used to monitor yeast populations. By using a simple methylene blue stain, yeast viability can be determined.

Culture plate

Bacterial culture media is available for the growth of spoilage organisms for identification. This requires additional equipment including an incubator. This also requires further training in sterile technique and organism identification techniques. Several types of culture media exist for the detection of the organism of interest. For example, media used to plate for Brettanomyces contains chloramphenicol (200 mg/L) to prevent bacterial growth while others may contain cyclohexamide to prevent Saccharomyces growth. Common media used in culturing juice, wine and environmental samples include WL and WL-differential agar.

Acetobacter and yeast culture

Acetobacter spp. and yeast on WL agar
Photo by Molly Kelly

Membrane Filter MethodScreenshot 2018-02-27 13.16.26

The membrane filter method can be used to isolate small numbers of microbes from a liquid sample. A sterile cellulose nitrate membrane (0.45 microns for bacteria, 0.65-8 microns for yeasts) is placed on a vacuum flask and filtered. Using sterile technique, the membrane is placed on the culture plate and monitored for growth. This method could be used to check bottle sterility.

Environmental Monitoring

The swab test method is used for semi-quantitative analysis. Moist sterile cotton swabs are used to monitor dry areas (moistened with sterile saline or water). Dry swabs can be used to test moist areas. The swabs can then be used to inoculate the proper agar medium, depending on the organism of interest. Agar plates can also be used to detect airborne organisms at critical winery locations. Plates are left open for 30 minutes to 2 hours and then incubated. Airborne organisms that settle on the plate will grow and can be further identified.


Screenshot 2018-02-27 13.16.57

Monitoring systems exist that utilize bioluminescence technology to measure adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is found in all plant, animal and microbial cells and is the prime energy currency that fuels metabolic processes. It is therefore possible to detect and measure biological matter that should not be present if proper sanitation practices are followed. One system by Hygiena uses an enzyme found in fireflies (luciferase). In the presence of ATP, an oxidation reaction occurs that results in light formation that is directly proportional to the amount of ATP present. Results are numeric and expressed as relative light units (RLU).

Cellar Hygiene

It should be stressed that cellar hygiene is critical in maintaining wine integrity and quality. Poor wine quality is usually due to poor sanitation practices. Areas of spoilage organism build-up include: the vineyard, second-hand barrels, imported bulk wine and areas of the winery that are difficult to reach.


There are commercial enology laboratories that provide all of the microbiological services discussed here. For more information please contact Molly Kelly at


Crowe, A. August 2007. Avoiding Stuck Ferments. Wine Business Monthly

Just, E. and H. Regnery. 2008. Microbiology and wine preventive care and monitoring in the wine industry. Sartorius Stedim Biotech.

Margalit, Y. 1996. Winery Technology and Operations. The Wine Appreciation Guild, San Francisco.

Ritchie, G. 2006. Stuck Fermentations. Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry and Microbiology. Napa Valley College.

Specht, G. Sept/Oct 2003. Overcoming Stuck and Sluggish Fermentations. Practical Winery and Vineyard Journal.

Van de Water, L. Sept/Oct 2009. Monitoring microbes during fermentation. Practical Winery and Vineyard Journal.

Zoecklein, B., Fugelsang, K.C., Gump, B.H. and Nury, F.S. 1999. Wine Analysis and Production, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.

Zoecklein, B. 2002. Enology Notes #65, Enology-Grape Chemistry Group, Virginia Tech.

Welcome, Dr. Molly Kelly, our new Enology Extension Educator



Dr. Molly Kelly, Penn State Enology Extension Specialist

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Molly Kelly as our new Penn State Enology Extension Educator.  In this role, Molly will support the technical needs of the Pennsylvania wine industry and lead educational programming focusing on wine quality.  She has lead workshops, including winery sanitation, filtration, microscopy, wine analysis and berry sensory analysis. Molly’s research has focused on the effect of nitrogen and sulfur applications on Petit Manseng wine aroma and flavor. Her current research includes a pre-harvest, on-the-vine dehydration study in collaboration with Virginia Tech University.


Prior to this position, Molly was the Enology Extension Specialist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. She also held the position of enology instructor at Surry Community College in Dobson, N.C., where she developed the enology curriculum and managed all aspects of the college’s 1,000-case bonded winery. Under her direction, Surry produced numerous international award-winning wines. Prior to her position at Surry, she was a biodefense team microbiologist with the New York State Department of Health.

Molly can be reached by phone (814-865-6840) or email (  Her address is Department of Food Science, 327 Erickson Food Science Building, University Park, PA 16802.