Latvia 2006 Overview


First International Conference on Northern Viticulture
8-11 November 2006. Jurmala, Latvia

Image of Old Riga

Part of the group during the Saturday tour, on top of the famous Sabile Grape Hill

Viticulture has traditionally been tied to mid-latitude regions around the world - these areas had the combination of sufficient summer warmth and mild winters that permitted classic varieties of Vitis vinifera to grow and provide consistent crops. A demand for local products, newer more versatile varieties, and changes in agricultural policy have all contributed to the expansion of serious viticulture into more northern areas; areas once considered impossible for viticulture.

In the past quarter century, viticultural pioneers in these high latitude regions have investigated and perfected new varieties and techniques to successfully grow grapes in areas with very cool summers and/or punishing cold winters. At the local or country level, grower organizations have formed to share knowledge and work in a collective fashion towards a more successful future. The First International Conference on Northern Viticulture in Latvia was an attempt to bring together dedicated enthusiasts and leaders from around the most northern extents of viticulture to exchange techniques and learn from each other. The conference was sponsored in partnership with the Society of Latvian Vinegrowers and Winemakers (Latvijas vīnkopju un vīndaru biedrība).

The Audience for the Conference
This conference targets:

  • interested hobbyist growers
  • commercial growers and winemakers
  • public and private, part-time or full-time, researchers
  • grape breeders, and variety testers
  • authors, and full- or part-time viticultural and enology educators

Geographically, the target audience is from:

  • USA: New England, northern border states, Pacific maritime, & Alaska
  • Canada: Areas outside of the Okanogan and Niagara regions
  • United Kingdom
  • Scandanavia: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland
  • Colder regions of Belgium, Holland, and Germany
  • Poland, Belarus
  • Baltic Countries: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia
  • The "protected viticultural" regions of Russia and Ukraine, Siberia & Far East
  • Northeastern China
  • Northern regions of Japan

Any grape grower or winemaker that struggles with the challenges of ripening fruit or wintering traditional grapes will find a great opportunity in this conference.

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