Massachusetts winemaker Kip Kumler, owner of Turtle Creek Winery in Lincoln, will speak at Elm Bank on Growing Vitis Vinifera in New England. The talk, sponsored by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, will be on Monday, September 26 at 7 p.m.Â Wine grapes and New England aren’t usually mentioned in the same sentence, but Kumler’s Turtle Creek Winery is proof that excellent wine can be made here given adequate planning and preparation.
“While the comparisons are a bit simplistic, Boston is at the same latitude as Rome and the best Italian wines come from that country’s northern regions,” Kumler says. “We have more degree days (periods when temperatures are above the threshold for grapes to grow) than Burgundy. What we also have,” Kumler acknowledges, “is a shorter growing season, a colder winter, and diseases that can devastate a vineyard.” Kumler’s talk will focus on how he has overcome New England’s problems to produce critically acclaimed wine. For example, his vines are grafted onto rootstock that trade vigorous growth for earlier ripening and higher quality. The issue of cold is addressed in a more high tech manner: by insulating vines against prolonged periods of sub-zero temperatures. Loss from disease is kept to a minimum through a combination of choosing healthier nursery stock and use of new classes of fungicides which are targeted to individual fungi, have short persistence, and are environmentally benign.
There is no charge to attend for Mass Hort members. The cost for non-members is $10. The presentation will be held in Mass Hort’s Education Building. The entrance to Elm Bank is at 900 Washington Street (Route 16) on the Wellesley/Natick town line. For additional information, call 617-933-4995.