Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Final Grape and Climate Data 2009

The experimental vineyard got frost on October 1st (-1.7c) and this ended the growing season. Actually, as all the berry cluster we kept this year are about 1 foot off the ground, some of the Leon Millot got hit with frost on September 21st. The data logger is 4 feet off the ground and registered a 0.8c degree low on September 21st but at the ground level there was frost and it was probably 2-3 degrees cooler there than at the 4 foot level. Aside from the September lows the first really good frost was on October 5th at -2.7c. The last spring frost at -1.7c was May 9th. So by way of the data logger we had about 145 frost free days (greater than -2.0c) this year. Not great but it was a cold late spring by about 2 weeks by all accounts in the region. I had thought our site would have about 150-160 frost free days on average but I'm going to lean to a more conservative estimate of 145-150 frost free days on average. This will only present itself in time.

The Growing Degree Days for the year are as follows;
May average was 12c
June average was 17c
July average was 20.2c
August average was 19.2c
September average was 14.1c

Total Degree days (May 1st-Sept 30th)was average was about 996 with a 10c base. We had about another 50 degree days (some in April and October) for a year growing total of about 1050.

The Leon Millot that got hit by the frost September 21st, stopped gaining suger at about 15-16 brix - seeds turning brown.
The other Leon Millot that made it to September 26th, had average 19 brix - seeds brown, nice flavour, acid did not seem to be a problem (by taste, acid&ph wasn't actually measured).
The Ravat 34 had a brix of 18 and had great flavour, somewhat like Riesling. This will be interesting if we can pull enough grapes off this one next year.
Dispite having covered the Agria with wire mesh some critter ate all the berries. Must have been a small animal but I don't know what it would have been.
All varieties appear to be hardening off well and through the season showed no disease on the leaves or berries (of the few berry clusters we kept).