Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grape Update

July has been fairly close to normal in temperature. Days have been averaging 28c for highs but nights have been a bit cool averaging about 8c, which is about 2 degrees below normal. We're on track for an 18c average and if the nights were averaging 10 degrees (normal) we'd have a 19 monthly average. There has been plenty of moisture up until early July but little rain since. Having said that there is still good moisture in the soil at about 4-6 inches below the surface and beyond. The cool nights also dramatically increase the humidity (logger shows in the 80%-90% level) and this moisture in the air and that which collects on the vines is obviously helpful to the plants. I think it helps them rehydrate after the hot dry day and lowers how much water the vines lose at night to the air (transpiration).

The Ravat is doing well and clusters set fruit well. All the vines are at the 5 foot fruit wire and many shoots are several feet beyond that. These long shoots will be the cordon for next year. Here is a picture of the Ravat grapes and vines;

The Leon Millot looks ok, some vines are very vigorous and others not about 50/50. I did some vine pruning to limit shoots to the main one and eliminate laterals to force growth into the primary shoot.

The Agria are comming along they are slow but look healthy. Having said that there is some bug that just loves to munch on the primary shoot and in doing so it stops the upward growth and the vine sends out multiple laterals - think its a caterpillar or grasshopper. Many of the vines look like little shrubs instead. Have done some pruning on this again to try to correct this and bring the primary shoot around so it will grow up to the fruit wire.

The ortega again are lacking vigor. The blattners look ok, with Petite Millot and Cabernet Foch doing well. The Cabernet Libra less vigorous and one plant died over winter.

The Pinot Noir (115) did remarkably well. They were really planted in the worst of conditions and I would have been surprised if a few of the 10 plants survived. Having said that there are 7 of the original 10 vines that are growing. Slow growth, but growing

The Regent did the worst of all only 5 of the 14 vines survived winter and the growth this year is slow. Will try to get some long canes and layer in the spots where the vines died off.