Michael DeCapria is one of those Renaissance men who seem to have accomplished a bit of everything in life. I met Michael in Kirkwood’s Viticulture class last year, where I don’t think he missed a day in the entire eight months of the course and was, above all, always entertaining. Michael is teaching Wine, Beer […]
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CEDAR RAPIDS – A few random thoughts as the eight-month Vineyard Management course at Kirkwood Community College wrapped up tonight with its last class of this session. If you have to spend a lovely September evening “studying,” the Kirkwood vineyard is not a bad place to be.
CASCADE – Visitors seek out one of Iowa’s newest wineries for the rural ambiance and flavorful wines, but owners Kevin and Lisa Miller believe it’s only a matter of time before connoisseurs discover the organic nature of their business. The Millers’ Crimson Sunset Vineyards & Winery, near Cascade, produces Iowa’s only wine created entirely from […]
CEDAR RAPIDS – Who can blame Kirkwood Viticulture Instructor, Lucas McIntire, for being in what I can only describe as a state of grape Nirvana. At our most recent class, the weather was Iowa-perfect and early grapes were good to go, allowing us to not only harvest the fruit of the vineyard, but to take […]
BALDWIN – The ultimate performance of new cold-hardy grapes under study in Iowa remains to be seen, but one is a standout to the owner of Tabor Home Vineyards and Winery. Paul Tabor, who also serves as winemaker for the family-owned business near the Eastern Iowa town of Baldwin, pointed to the Minnesota 1220 selection […]
I have to admit, I wasn’t particularly thrilled to hear we would be putting up bird netting during our viticulture class this week at Kirkwood Community College. I’ve tried bird netting on various plants. While useful, it’s not the easiest gardening tool to work with, often becoming tangled on branches or wire or body parts. […]
I can’t believe I’ve never seen a “Tapener” before now. At our most recent viticulture class at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, we used this handy tool to position young grapevines onto trellis wires. A combination staple gun/tape dispenser, the Tapener is ingenious, and as long as it doesn’t get jammed, is fairly simple […]
CEDAR RAPIDS – Between the various vineyard diseases, voracious bugs, birds and other predators, I’m amazed that any grape can survive to maturity. At our most recent viticulture class at Kirkwood Community College, we learned about fungal diseases of grapevines, such as anthracnose or
The past two weeks have been busy ones for the Vineyard Management class at the Kirkwood Vineyard in Cedar Rapids. We’ve planted more than 30 grapevines, learned to string trellis wire, attached grow tubes to the new vines and tonight, had our chance to play with fire.
Anyone who regularly drives Interstate 380 south of Cedar Rapids knows about the Nesper sign jokes, those often-corny puns that flash across the giant electronic billboard alongside the interstate. Tonight’s joke was particularly fitting as I drove to Kirkwood Community College for Viticulture class… “What did the grape do when it got stepped on? It […]