Monday, June 27, 2011

Grapes are coming along

Growth in the vineyard has been excellent this spring with plenty of rain periodically mixed in with some nice warm sunny days. The Marquette flowered over a week sooner than the Reliance grapes and are about a week further along. I'm enjoying getting out into the yard every few days to tie up the shoots as they travel down the trellis wire, and watching the baby grapes get bigger and bigger. It won't be long before I'll need to net the vines to keep the birds off.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vines are smart!

Vines might be plants, but they aren't stupid. They know when they are ready to make grapes. After three years of careful planning, planting, trellis-building, watering, grow-tubing, irrigation-system building, pruning, bug spraying, etc. I finally have a couple vines with grapes! They are teenie-weenie little baby grapes. And they are only appearing on about 8 vines out of 26. But there are 8 vines in the yard that feel confident they are ready. (Two of them are only in their second year, and I should probably pluck the grapes off so the vines will spend more effort on growing than on making grapes. We'll see.)

This year has been mostly good for the grapes this spring. It was a reasonably early spring with no frosts. The only hitch was a solid week of rain right during flowering (which can tend to reduce the crop because the rain washes the pollen from the flowers before they get fertilized). I'm not going to get too upset about it since I'm not really planning on a real crop of grapes until next summer. Still, I'm excited to see what I can get this summer. Not enough to make a batch of wine for sure, but at least enough to see how ripe they get, when they need to be bird netted, etc.

Check out the pics! Also, I added a picture of the first bottled Chateau Oiseau.