Viticulture Program



        KSU Viticulture History

          Wine and table grape production is a profitable and expanding market, representing a viable economic alternative to tobacco production in Kentucky. Kentucky has a rich history in viticulture. The Kentucky Vineyard Society was founded in 1798,  Kentucky was the third largest grape and wine producer by 1860. But after prohibition, vines were either uprooted or left unattended.

         Through a cost-share program supported by the State of Kentucky's Vineyard Assistance Program, over 250 acres of grapes have been planted in Kentucky. In 2000, Kentucky State University received a grant from the Kentucky Vineyard Assistance Program for $3,000 to support the establishment of the Vineyard at KSU in 2000. The KSU vineyard was established to: 1) demonstrate management techniques for this crop to the public and 2) evaluate yield and disease resistance of various cultivars in Kentucky.

           In 2003, a USDA Capacity Building grant entitled: "Sustainable control of grape black rot, Japanese beetle, and leafhoppers in the Southeastern United States" was funded for $299,633 that was co-authored by Drs. Jonathan Egilla (formerly of KSU) and Kirk W. Pomper, to be administered by Kirk W. Pomper. In late 2004, Dr. Sanjun Gu came onboard to be responsible for this project and Ms. Angie Whitehouse was hired as technical assistant to help with the greenhouse and field research, and vineyard management.





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