Kentucky State University

Viticulture Project

Viticulture                                     Land Grant Program                                  Kentucky State University  

About KSU Viticulture   


        The Commonwealth of Kentucky has a rich history in viticulture and enology. It was once the third largest grape and wine producer in the United States in the late 1800's. During Prohibition, however, vines were either uprooted or left to die, which has essentially  ruined Kentucky's Grape and Wine Industry.

         Wine and table grape production is a profitable and expanding  market, representing a viable economic alternative to the declining tobacco industry in Kentucky. Through a cost-share program supported by the Kentucky's Vineyard Assistance Program, over 250 acres of grapes have been planted in Kentucky. In 2000, Kentucky State University (KSU) received a grant from the Kentucky Vineyard Assistance Program for $3,000 to support the establishment of the Vineyard at KSU. The KSU vineyard was established to demonstrate management techniques to the public and to evaluate yield and disease resistance of various grape cultivars in Kentucky.

           In 2003, USDA Capacity Building grant entitled: "Sustainable control of grape black rot, Japanese beetle, and leafhoppers in the Southeastern United States" by Drs. Jonathan Egilla (formerly of KSU) and Kirk W. Pomper was funded. Pesticides approved for organic and home fruit production, which are environment-friendly and less-toxic to humans, together with the particle film  technology (Surround®) will be used in the research. The project goal is to identify sustainable, environmentally safe pest management strategies that reduce dependence on conventional chemical pesticides, while improving the yield and quality of grapes, and our natural environment. Dr. Sanjun Gu currently leads the project.

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Updated November 28, 2007