Monday, September 23, 2013

Edmonton Grapes Nearly Ripe

2013 hasn't been a warm summer in Edmonton, and we've had more rain and hail than we've had in years.  The hail was particularly troublesome and caused extensive damage to the leaves and grape clusters.  The leaf damage has resulted in a bit of a delay in ripening and the cluster damage has meant we've been trimming damaged fruit as we see it so it doesn't rot and damage the whole cluster.

Here is some nice St. Croix clusters,

Having said that were getting there and a few more weeks and we'll have some nice grapes for a rose'.  This year were going to crush and press and go straight to a rose'.  The juice from the St. Croix is quite highly coloured as it is and will be a darker colour for rose. The St.Croix is at about 12-13 brix right now so if we're lucky we'll get it up to 16-17brix over the next 2 weeks

We've had other challenges recently aside from the hail and rain as the birds found our grapes and we've had to net them.  Despite the netting, a few seem to get in here and there and one can see the advantage of a higher cordon for training the vines and netting that is secured just under the higher cordon.  Our vines are close to the ground and the netting drapes to the ground and is anchored here and there with ties.  But the birds seem to find there way under the netting.

We didn't have enough netting to cover the Joffre so we actually picked it on September 21st at 18 brix and 3.0 ph.  Pretty amazing early grape.  We only got about 3 lbs from the vine but the birds must have already taken 2lbs. Have it frozen until we pick the St. Croix and will add it to that lot. Considering the die back for this variety in the -35c temperatures over the previous winter, this is great.  Joffre shouldn't withstand much colder than -30 but we did have some good snow cover and it was early to harden off last fall.

On the other hand the Acadie is looking good and is already at 14-15 brix.