Thursday, May 21, 2015

Vineyard Expansion 2015

So we have been experimenting with about 25 different varieties of grapes since 2008 and some have shown to do quite well in our climate and conditions and others not.  Some of the red varieites that have done well are Leon Millot, Marechal Foch, Triompe D'Alsace, Lucy Kuhlman, Marquette, and the Castel is improving every year.  Whites that have done well are Ravat 34, Petite Milo, Vandal Cliche, and Evangeline, and L'Acadie Blance.

Red or Whites that have not done well include Regent, Cabernet-Foch, Cabernet-Libre, Agria, and Ortega.  Zwegelt and Pinot Noir have not been doing well but in the last year have shown strong improvements - we have only started adding soil amendments in the past few years.

So we are now expanding the vineyard and are adding new rows of Leon Millot and Marechal Foch.We have also added drip irrigation system and will evaluate the same row comparison of vines irrigated and unirrigated for the next few years. 

Bud Break - 2015

So spring is a bit early for the vines and this is reflected in the bud break this year which is about 3-5 days early.  This is pretty dramatic as until now bud break has usually occurred between May 18 and 21st but this year its started around the 15th and most varieties are now out as of the 21st.

The winter was hard on a few varieties and this was not evident until bud break as the canes showed decent winter survival but no live buds or few week buds emerged.  Particularly hard hit was the Leon Millot and Triompe - both these vines are quite similar and have some similar pedigree.  With the freeze thaw temperature swings we had in late winter the vines got hammered.  They have experienced this before but not as severe and some show cane and trunk damage.  It is noteworthy here that at our location you need to be growing renual trunks on millot and triompe every few years.  Interesting was that the sister vine to Leon Millot is Marechal Foch and while the millot was really hard hit, the foch looks great.  See Leon Millot pictured below, followed by Marechal Foch

Again the Ravat 34 is excellent and there are some monster flower clusters poking out. See below

Another stand out is the Vandal Cliche and for three year old vines they are producing very well - see below.

The L'Acadie Blanc is doing well also with dual clusters visible on every bud. - see below.

The Castel is also doing alright and is slowly improving each year.  Same for the Evangeline, Petite Milo and Marquette. The Regent died back to the ground again.  Castel Pictured Below