Among the seven wine projects launched by the grants is research from Penn State that will study how the invasive spotted lantern affects Cabernet Franc, a grape often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
Penn State Extension has studied the many negative impacts of the spotted lantern fly since it arrived in Pennsylvania in 2014. Researchers recorded the pest feeding on economically important crops such as vines, cucumbers, hardwoods, and ornamentals.
Damage has been reported in Pennsylvania vineyards including reduced starch concentration in vine roots, lower crop yield, increased susceptibility to frost damage and vine death. Penn State will receive $ 108,161 to further study how to manage and control spotted lantern populations near vineyards.
The other five wine projects are:
- $ 531,220 to the Pennsylvania Winery Association to promote the state’s wineries as they recover from losses from the pandemic;
- $ 88,747 to Penn State University to study to expand the use of a previously studied oxygenation technique to improve wine color and quality while reducing reliance on barrels;
- $ 79,310 to Penn State University to study and educate industry professionals on how to reduce damage to vineyards from herbicide drift from nearby lands;
- $ 74,003 to Penn State University to research ways to minimize frost damage to budding grapes; and
- $ 57,192 to Penn State University to study and manage leaf roll disease.