Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Edmonton Grapes September 2011

The St. Croix had a difficult year as the early hard frost (-6c) of September 15th, 2010 severely damaged alot of the buds and canes on the vines (see link to previous posting).  In fact, the killing frost did kill one of the St. Croix vines. So in re-establishing the vines this year I left only a little fruit and cluster pruned back to 1 cluster per shoot.  This should serve to build up the vigor of the vine and hasten the ripening of the grapes.  This summer has been cooler than the past two years and I was expecting the grapes to begin ripening (veraison) a little later this year.  Interestingly the grapes are right on schedule and the first grapes began to show colour yesterday September 5th.  This is the same as the past two years and shows no delay as a result of cooler summer temperatures this year.  However, the canes were cluster thinned this year to 1 cluster per shoot and this may have served to hasten the ripening despite the lack of heat.  St. Croix pictured below;

The Edelweise has re-established itself also after having died back to the ground.  The Acadie Blanc grew fantastic and is a huge vine with a few scraggly clusters that are ripening a bit ahead of the St. Croix.  The Baltica is doing fine for second year and hopefully will produce some grapes next year.  Like the Edelweise and St. Croix, the Baltica was severely damaged by the early hard frost of last September and it died back to the ground.  We've planted a few KW96-2 (Evangeline) to see how they make out in our cold winter but like the other vines we'll lay the canes down on the ground over the winter.  If we're lucky we'll get to the end of September without a frost and we will be able to get a gauge of sugar/acid balances in the St. Croix and Acadie.