Steve Schafer, chairman of the California Association of Winegrape Growers in Sacramento, will deliver the keynote address at the “Pruning Workshop for Wine Grape Growers” Tuesday, Dec. 18, at California State University, Fresno.

The educational event begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Satellite Student Union (5280 N. Jackson Ave.) and concludes at 3 p.m. with a demonstration in the Fresno State Vineyard on Barstow Avenue behind the Viticulture and Enology Research Center.

Schafer, who speaks during the luncheon at 12:30 p.m., has been involved in the proposed formation of a “San Joaquin Valley Winegrape Association” and will provide an update.

For the workshop, more than 140 grape growers from the San Joaquin Valley will be on campus to learn more about how hand and mechanical pruning of wine grapes affects the quality and economics of their vineyard operations.

It is presented by the university’s Viticulture and Enology Research Center and Department of Viticulture and Enology, Allied Grape Growers, Canandaigua Wine Company, and E. & J. Gallo Winery.

Admission is free of charge and includes a sponsored lunch by Canandaigua Wine Company and E. & J. Gallo Winery. Activities include panel discussions, presentations, and live vineyard pruning equipment demonstrations by several agricultural equipment companies.

Jeff Bitter, vice president of Allied Grape Growers in Fresno and one of the event coordinators, said the university partnership provides another educational forum for the growers in the valley.

“Workshops such as this expose growers to technologies and methods that will help them improve quality and manage their vineyard operations more economically,” said Bitter.

A panel discussion on the wine grape buyer’s perspective on pruning will kick-off the morning session featuring Nat DiBuduo, Allied Grape Growers president; Emilio Miranda, manager of grape supply at Canandaigua; and Ken Wara, Central/Southern San Joaquin Valley area manager for Gallo.

A presentation follows on the fundamentals of pruning and crop load by Dr. Robert Wample, Viticulture and Enology Department chair and director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center at Fresno State.

George Leavitt, viticulture farm adviser in Madera County, will discuss how pruning, canopy management and powdery mildew are related. Growers Ron Metzler of Metzler Family Farms in Fresno, and Gary Wilson of Wilson Ag in Bakersfield will lead a discussion on mechanical pruning and pre-pruning practices. Participants will also be able to visit with various equipment and pruning tool vendors who will exhibit their products during the morning breaks in the Satellite Student Union.

After Schafer’s luncheon address, participants will go to the Fresno State vineyards nearby to view hand and mechanical pruning equipment demonstrations by participating vendors until the workshop concludes at 3 p.m.

This workshop will be the second event held this year that is being presented by Fresno State and Allied Grape Growers with industry support. A third event on the topic of sulfur and weed management is being planned for April 2002.

Continuing education credit for pest control advisors has been approved by the Department of Pesticide Regulation for the Dec. 19 workshop.


The Satellite Student Union is located off of Barstow Avenue and Maple on the corner of Maple and San Ramon on the Fresno State campus. Participants may park in lots N, O, P, and J during the entire event. For the vineyard equipment demonstrations, Lot Q, located on Barstow Avenue near the Fresno State vineyards, will also be available for parking between 1 and 4 p.m.

The registration flyer and agenda for this event are available online at the Viticulture and Enology Research Center’s web site at (announcements and events). For more information, contact VERC at 559 278-2089.

For more information on the Department of Viticulture and Enology at Fresno State, visit its web site at

Allied Grape Growers is a California wine grape marketing cooperative with more than 500 grower members located from Kern County in the south up to Glenn County in the north and also the North Coast counties of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Lake and Mendocino. For more information on Allied Grape Growers, visit its web site at

Pruning Workshop for Wine Grape Growers

Pruning for Quality and Pruning Economically


Tuesday, December 18, 2001

California State University, Fresno Satellite Student Union

Presented by Allied Grape Growers, California State University, Fresno Viticulture & Enology,

Canandaigua Wine Company and E & J Gallo Winery

8:30 am Registration, Refreshments & Indoor Exhibits

9:00 am Welcome & Introductions – Jeff Bitter, Allied Grape Growers

9:10 am Pruning Varietal Winegrapes for Quality – The buyer’s perspective


Nat DiBuduo, Allied Grape Growers

Emilio Miranda, Canandaigua Wine Company

Ken Wara, E & J Gallo Winery

10:00 am Fundamentals of Pruning and Crop Load

Robert Wample, California State University, Fresno – Viticulture and Enology

10:30 am Break – Refreshments & Indoor Exhibits

11:00 am Pruning, Canopy Management, and Powdery Mildew

George Leavitt – UC Cooperative Extension, Madera County

11:30 am Pruning Economically – A look at mechanical pruning and pre-pruning


Ron Metzler, Metzler Family Farms

Gary Wilson, Wilson Ag

12:20 pm Move to upper level in Satellite Student Union for lunch

12:30 pm Lunch and Keynote Address-

Update on the San Joaquin Valley Winegrape Association

Steve Schafer – California Association of Winegrape Growers

1:10 pm Break into groups and move to the Fresno State Vineyard for demonstrations

1:30 pm Hand/Mechanical Pruning Demonstrations in Fresno State Vineyard

North Barstow between Maple & Cedar Avenues (behind VERC building)

3:00 pm Seminar concludes