John and Jenny Thull

John and Jenny Thull manage over 10 acres of research vineyards for the Grape Breeding Program at the University of Minnesota’s Horticultural Research Center (HRC) which is overseen by Dr. Matthew Clark. The vineyards contain approximately 10,000 novel seedling vines of all ages. These vines are continually evaluated for cold hardiness, disease tolerance, growth habit, productivity, and fruit quality for wine production and fresh eating. Every year new vines are being planted into the research plots. Growing so many different vines is quite challenging and extremely interesting which gives John and Jenny a whole new appreciation for wine tasting.

While working over the past 10 years at the HRC and in their own 2 acre vineyard, John and Jenny have shared their experience with many growers through talks, presentations, and in-field clinics not only in Minnesota but also in many other regions that grow cold hardy vines.

Aside from grapes, John and Jenny have grown well over 300 different varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds which get displayed every year at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and are sold through the Apple House at the HRC. Stop on out in the Fall to enjoy the fruits of their labor!