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Upcoming workshop explores fruit of the vine

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) encourages current and "budding" grape growers and winemakers to attend an upcoming Minnesota Grape Growers Association (MGGA) workshop. The workshop will be held at the University of Minnesota (U of M) Landscape Arboretum in Chaska on Saturday, May 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

"We've seen an explosion of activity in Minnesota's grape and wine industry during the past few years," said MDA Agriculture Diversification Specialist Meg Moynihan. "The grape growers association is offering this workshop to meet the increasing interest in growing, learning about, and drinking the fruit of Minnesota vines."

Fieldstone Vineyards owner Charlie Quast will kick things off with a session about the economic and financial considerations involved in starting a winery. U of M enologist Katie Cook will follow with a wine and cheese pairings session. The event will wrap up with a hands-on pruning demonstration by John Thull, manager of the U of M's research vineyard located at the Arboretum.

The cost of the workshop is $20 per person. For more information or to register, contact Missy Machkhashvili at or (612) 203-3969.

The MDA is underwriting a portion of this educational event with funds provided by the United States Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.