Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Helpful Insects and Birds

One of the things Im on the look out for when I walk the vineyard rows is the presence of "bad" insects that may be damaging to to the vines. There are so many insects that could cause damage including beatles and leaf hoppers. The other thing Im looking for is the "good" insects such as spiders and wasps that keep the bad insects in balance. Really like seeing healthy populations of the good insects early on in the year and especially that they are doing thier job.

The spider below has captured something in its web.

Preditory wasps are helpful as well at capturing bad bugs

The other vineyard friends are the birds, particularly the robins. They are great at pucking off beatles and caterpillars that otherwise would make a salad out of tender emerging grape vine leaves. But these are our fickle friends in that come fall they'd be more than happy to clean the vines of all the ripe grapes. 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Delayed Vine Growth for 2020

With the cooler weather so far in May and June the vines are a little behind what we have been use too. May came in at about an average temperature of 12.6c and June is starting out cool. But even the past few years that have started out this way we have balanced off with high heat in the summer and fall ripening season. In both 2017 and 2014 we started off in a similar manner and yet by the end of the growing season we still accumulated between 1000 and 1100 degree days growing celcius (1800 to 1980 degree days growing fahrenheit). Hoping this year is similar.

All the varieties are looking good except some varieties we converted to hanging curtain trellis as the trellis is not as well populated with growth as it should be. This year will be a correction year to get those vines on track for that type of trellising. Vines are at about the 5th leaf stage for growth now and should be flowering at the end of June. Here is how they look;

Marechal Foch

Leon Millot


St. Croix


Ravat 34

L'Acadie Blanc

Petite Millot

The cool and wet weather has presented great conditions for downey mildew growth and while our varieties have natural resistance to this fungus the prolonged poor conditions has resulted in some spots of this fungus appearing. Hoping for nice sunny dry weather going forward especially into the flowering stage.