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Researchers search for Wyoming's perfect grape

A University of Wyoming Department of Agriculture project in Sheridan hopes to share knowledge between current and future grape growers in the state about what works and what doesn’t at Wyoming vineyards.

UW Horticulturist, Sadanand Dhekney has been working on isolating the genes of successful grapes from regions with a shorter growing season, such as Minnesota and upstate New York. He and his team at the Sheridan extension center have also been designing new growing conditions before this year’s crops go in the ground.
“We are looking at different management practices, different training systems, pruning systems, looking at different root stocks, also testing different varieties that will do well under our conditions,” said Dhekney.
At the end of May, his research team will plant at locations in Sheridan and Powell. They will also begin monitoring vineyards in Torrington, Worland and Basin. Dhekney says that they expect to have Wyoming data on grape vine success in 5 to 6 years.

Chelsea Biondolillo is originally from Portland, Oregon and comes to Laramie by way of several southern cities, including New Orleans, Austin, and Phoenix. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Wyoming in creative nonfiction and environmental studies and her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Phoebe, DIAGRAM, Birding, and others. Chelsea loves plants, birds, and rocks, and tries to spend as much time as she can around them.

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