Welcome to the Maryland Grape Research and Fruit Page
Statewide Extension and research programs in viticulture (grape growing), enology (winemaking), and tree and small fruits are being created and implemented at the Western Maryland Research & Education Center by Dr. Joseph A. Fiola, Viticulture and Small Fruit Specialist. Dr. Fiola holds a B.S. in Horticulture from Cook College, an M.S. in Horticulture from Rutgers University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. He has been with Maryland Cooperative Extension since 2001.
Dr. Fiola has over 20 years of academic and industry experience in research and extension in viticulture and enology.
Annual events include:
Some of the viticultural programs conducted by Dr. Fiola at the Western Maryland Research & Education Center are:
Cultivar Testing: The objective of this program is to evaluate traditional and newly developed varieties as well as specific clones of varieties under Maryland conditions. An innovative part of this program involves importation and testing of vinifera varieties. High quality, very cold, hardy varieties that have never been tested in this country have been imported from the northernmost regions of Italy and from Eastern Europe. A repository is being established.
Pest Control/Vineyard Nutrition: Dr. Fiola initiated an Integrated Vineyard Management research and delivery program to maximize fruit quality and vine cold-hardiness, as well as to control disease with the most environmentally friendly procedures. The program also includes extensive tissue (petiole) sampling and subsequent nutrition/fertility recommendations for the commercial vineyards in the state.
Enology: Small batch enological studies are conducted on the new grape varieties to determine their wine quality. Also, research has been conducted into understanding annual vintage variability, as well as utilizing various enological tools to make the best wine possible with each specific "vintage" of grapes. Vinified products from Dr. Fiola's new grape variety research have won awards in the American Wine Society's (AWS) International Competition. Experiments with cryo-concentration for “ice” wines from grapes and apples are being conducted.
For more information, contact Dr. Joseph Fiola