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Volunteers needed for replanting University vineyard

Posted 5/2/2019

a vineyard

The University’s Desert Farming Initiative is hosting a Vineyard Planting Day on May 11 to continue over 20 years of wine grape research. Photo by Grant Cramer, Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station.

Desert Farming Initiative seeks help planting wine grapes in demonstration vineyard

The University of Nevada, Reno, Desert Farming Initiative is looking for community members to help replant a vineyard in an effort to expand upon over 20 years of wine grape research done by the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station. Participants will receive hands-on experience learning the first steps in developing a vineyard, as well as learn more about some of the Initiative’s current projects.

“There is a lot of interest in growing wine grapes in northern Nevada,” said Desert Farming Initiative Program Manager Charles Schembre. “A handful of small-scale commercial growers want to expand their businesses and want the University’s help with research.”

The Vineyard Planting Day is 9 a.m.-1 p.m., May 11, at the Experiment Station’s Valley Road Field Lab, 920 Valley Road in Reno. Snacks and water will be provided, but volunteers should bring water bottles and garden gloves. The vineyard, funded by the Nevada Department of Agriculture, Specialty Crop Block Grant, will include cabernet franc and merlot wine grapes, which create a Bordeaux-style wine when blended. The grapes were chosen based on research already performed by the Experiment Station and research done in other high-altitude locations, such as in Argentina.

The Desert Farming Initiative is a collaboration of the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, including the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension. For more information on the Initiative or the Vineyard Planting Day, contact Schembre at or 775-682-9783, or visit the event website.

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