Georgia’s wine grape harvest will be a bit behind schedule, but the grapes look good and should produce quality wine.That was the takeaway from the University of Georgia Extension Viticulture Team’s recent vineyard tour and research and practice discussion. About four dozen Georgia wine grape growers, backyard hobbyists and wine fans joined UGA Cooperative Extension on Aug. 8 for a tour of four north Georgia vineyards.In its inaugural year, the tour was an opportunity for new and veteran growers to learn how viticulture production practices affect wine quality. Tour participants visited CeNita Vineyards in Cleveland, Georgia; Stonepile Vineyards in Clarkesville, Georgia; and Kaya Vineyard and Winery and Three Sisters Vineyards and Winery, both in Dahlonega, Georgia.Managers at each vineyard walked the crowd through their fields of wine grape varieties and shared growing strategies and management philosophies.“It gave the grape farmers and winemakers a chance to talk about what they do and how they do it,” said Cain Hickey, UGA Extension viticulture specialist. “It was a great opportunity for people to network and learn from each other.”Hickey and his team talked about their research projects at each vineyard. Hickey and his graduate students are running field trials to see how different cultural practices such as pruning technique, trellising method and fruit zone leaf removal may impact disease pressure, crop yield and fruit quality.While many on the tour were simply interested in learning more about how wine grapes are grown, others came as aspiring vineyard and winery owners, and others yet came on the tour looking for solutions to particular vineyard issues.Randy Olsen, a Clarkesville-based homeowner with 12 muscadine vines, attended the tour because he wanted to learn better pruning techniques to manage his unruly backyard vineyard.Others on the tour viewed it as a chance to get a crash course in growing grapes from those with a career’s worth of experience. Rachel Crow, who currently works at the tasting room at Yonah Mountain Vineyards in Cleveland, Georgia, came to the tour because she wants to advance her career in Georgia’s burgeoning winemaking industry.In the most recent impact study conducted by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia’s wine industry had an $81.6 million impact on the state’s economy. The UGA Viticulture Extension Team offers research and on-the-ground support for the state’s grape growers through a network of Extension specialists and county Extension agents across Georgia.For more information about the UGA Extension Viticulture Team, visit site.extension.uga.edu/viticulture.
Bob Good, a self-described “biblical conservative” who tied himself closely to President Trump, maintained Republicans’ hold on Virginia’s largest House district early Wednesday, beating back an aggressive challenge by a University of Virginia doctor focused on the coronavirus pandemic.The victory over Dr. Cameron Webb, a Democrat, as called by The Associated Press, was welcome news for Republicans, who had feared they could lose the seat after Mr. Good, a far-right conservative who struggled to raise money, defeated Representative Denver Riggleman in a bitter primary this summer. It demonstrated the party’s continued support in rural America, even in states like Virginia where Mr. Trump is deeply unpopular.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – He tried to tie Dr. Webb, who is Black, to both, falsely charging that he supported defunding the police and insinuating that he would advocate a government takeover of the health care system. One ad superimposed Dr. Webb’s face over menacing images of fires and confrontations with police and urged voters to “look past the smooth presentation.” Democrats denounced it as a “racist dog whistle.” Dr. Webb, whose father was in law enforcement, never supported defunding the police.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – A first-time candidate, Dr. Webb tried to capitalize on discontent with Mr. Trump and the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He continued to treat patients with the disease throughout the campaign and presented himself as a mainstream doctor who would stay above the political fray while steering the country toward a more effective response to the coronavirus pandemic and better health coverage.Political donations to Dr. Webb poured in. But in the end, it was not enough to flip a district with so much conservative DNA.The mostly white district had been relatively safe for Republicans until 2018, when antipathy toward Mr. Trump and growth around Charlottesville and in the outlying suburbs of Washington put it into play. Mr. Trump carried it by 11 points in 2016, but Democrats came within seven points of winning in 2018, and polling in recent weeks had suggested a dead heat. Mr. Good, a former athletics official at Liberty University, defeated Mr. Riggleman in a bizarre drive-through convention in June, capitalizing on the conservative outrage after the congressman officiated at the same-sex wedding of two of his former campaign volunteers.In the general election, Mr. Good ran an unabashedly conservative campaign appealing to the rural heart of the sprawling district, which stretches from the outskirts of Washington, through the liberal university town of Charlottesville, to the far southern reaches of the state. He pledged to fight for “Judeo-Christian” values in Washington and defend the district from what he said was encroaching socialism and radicals like the Black Lives Matter movement.