SUBMITTED BY SUSAN POHORLY, NOTL.
Re: the June 20 article, “Federal money helps growers cultivate virus-free vines,” published in The Lake Report:
I just wished to comment that, in general, when residents read that federal money is helping grape growers, they often assume the growers are getting funding.
This is certainly not the case.
I would like to point out that this money is being spent strictly on research in the provinces of Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
The benefit to the grape growers is that if virus-free vines can be established, the grape growers in the aforementioned provinces could be eligible to purchase these vines at regular vine prices or possibly at a higher price due to research and development.
There may be some growers in each province who will be lucky enough to plant these vines at no cost to them before they are released to other grape growers.
However, it could also be risky for them if red blotch disease is still present in the released vines.
We, as growers, thank the government for giving research money toward this project, but would like to make it clear that we derive no monetary benefit. And there are many of us growers who have this disease in our vineyards.
For the most part, the grapes from these diseased vines cannot be sold to a winery unless you actually own the winery and use your own winery grapes from these diseased vines to make “entry level” wine.