Pruning is going great! Done with the Frontenac and the Frontenac Gris- I have gone through and cleaned up the Marquette, (they had a rough and messy year last year from the early growth/frost last April). I will be going through again when we are closer to bud break and chances of frost have past to do the final pruning. I am now going through the La Crescent, and then on to the Brianna!
I began pruning today with the Frontenac vines. Hoping for a "normal" spring, and to not see green until May! If you are curious how we decide what to prune, click HERE to see a great step by step video about we decide what to prune put together by our Viticulture Instructor from DMACC. Enjoy this sunny day!
We had our first hard freeze a couple nights ago- so things are a little crispy in the vineyard! The vines have had a chance to harden off pretty decently the past couple weeks with nighttime temperatures gradually lowering so they were ready for it. (stems became more woody rather than green) Happy Fall!
It was a beautiful morning to start our 2012 harvest! This was the first year we let our vines produce --- the past two years we picked off the flower buds before the flowers opened so that the vine could focus on root growth. Brianna grapes are usually the first to be picked in vineyards --- they tend to get foxy if they hang too long. (Foxy : A tasting term for the musty odor and flavor of wines made from Vitis labrusca grapes, like Concord or Catawba, native to North America, usually a negative term.) We want our Brianna to be fresh and fruity! and it all starts with the grapes!! We will be getting many more Brianna grapes within the next couple weeks from the vineyards we work with, and will be keeping track of the sugars and pH on our Frontenac and Frontenac Gris. These tend to have a higher acidity/low pH, so we want to let them hang in order to increase their sugars/lower acidity/increase pH, for a more balanced wine.
Out in the vineyard today on a beautiful, crisp fall day re-tying up vines that have been blown off the trellis! The vineyard is looking good---canes are a cinnamon color meaning that they hardened off before any frost damage took place---compared to canes that are a faded brown/white color which may have been damaged by the frost. The next weather related concern will be if we receive a late frost this coming spring after our vines have already budded out with green tissue... We hope to harvest a half crop off of our own vines next year! (for example, 2 tons/acre in 2012 vs. 4 tons/acre which we will hopefully be able to reach in 2013.) Enjoy the day!