The objective of this program is to evaluate traditional and newly developed grape 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.
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.
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.
Research is being conducted at:
- Central Maryland Research & Education Center (CMREC) - Upper Marlboro Facility
- Lower Eastern Shore Research & Education Center (LESREC)
- Grapevine Variety and Cultural Practice Trial
- Beach Plum Variety Trial Block With Sudeep Mathew
- Western Maryland Research & Education Center
- Disease Resistant Apple Variety Trial
- BlockImport Variety/Clone Block 3
- Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon Clonal Vineyard Block
- Chardonnay & Chambourcin Vineyard Block
- Beach Plum Variety Trial Block
- New Variety & Clonal Vineyard Block
- NE1020 /Variety Clone Block 08
- Canopy Management/Variety Vineyard Block with Maryland GrapeGrowers Association (MGGA)
- Apple Somaclonal Gala Trial
- BlockTable Grape Variety Vineyard
- Block and NurseryApple Variety
- Trial BlockAsian Pear Variety Trial Block
- Wye Research & Education Center
- Hardwood Cutting Propagation of Advance Selections and Linae' Grapevines
- Replicated Trial of imported "Russian" Grapevine Clones and Alternative Vinifera Varieties