Friday, January 18, 2019

Triomphe D'Alsace

I haven't really blogged about this unique and rather rare grape variety. Its another of the Kuhlman family created in France around 1911 to be disease and cold resistant.

The more well known vines created by Kuhlman at this time are the likes of Matechal Foch and Leon Millot. These are crosses of Goldreisling and Millardet de Grasset 101-14. Triomphe is instead a cross if Knipperl with Millardet de Grasset 101-14. Colmar Precose Noir also came from this same cross.

Triomphe is very vigorous blue grape and even in our sandy soil devoid of nutrients it can send out lots of 10 foot canes and side by side more vigorous than Foch. We could really go to a devided canopy on Triomphe and probably should.

This vine produces well every season, usually 2 clusters per shoot of spprox 70grms average. They ripen early like Foch and Millot but with lower acid so its great for blending.  However, we have found Triomphe makes a great wine on its own.

The flavour is similar to Foch and Millot for sure. Its often got a bad reputation from growers in other countries for not producing likeable wine. We disagree, but our climate and soil is completely different, and like Foch, grown in different locations can be very different in flavour, we suspect the same holds true here with Triomphe.

Few commercial examples out there but Luckett vineyard in Nova Scotia produces one that has received much praise. I also tasted one produced by Jost Vineyard in Nova Scotia which was quite nice.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Mid Winter Grape Vine Health

In mid winter we get out to check on the vines and see how they look. There has not been much snow this year so the vines are very exposed. This is a big contrast to the winter we had last year which was about 50% more snow than normal.

In fact we had so much snow last year (2017-2018) that it caused tremendous damage to the vines and trellises. The snow was so deep and heavy that the weight snapped a few of the end posts and broke vine cordons off the trunks and off of trellis wires.

As of early January 2019 it has not been colder than -9 celsius, so we are not expecting any cold damage. We took samples from some vines and they are looking green and healthy inside.

In about 8-10 weeks the snow will be mostly gone and we will be on to pruning then spring.