I don't know exactly what I expected when I decided it was a good idea to plant a vineyard. But one thing is for certain, I had no idea it would be so hard to get fruit all the way through the process to ripe. Yes, trellising, pruning, watering etc. were learning curves. Then I had to learn about spray fungicides because our humid New England summers are a black rot paradise. Then of course I had to learn about pesticides because every bug in the world loves grape leaves and grapes. Let's not forget the deer which have stripped all the leaves off many a shoot overnight. Last year I only managed to get literally a bowl-full of fruit to ripeness. I only had 3 vines mature enough to make grapes last summer. I assumed I had all my procedures down: fungicide schedule, insecticide schedule, and bird netting. This year, with 11 vines making grapes, even with that depressing loss of fruit to hail, I figured I would at least get 50 pounds of grapes so I could make a small batch of wine.
Nope. I got absolutely zero fruit. Nada. Nothing.
Vadai Hungarian barrel, it has a fair amount of oak that is going to need some time to mellow. However, it's the first wine of mine that I really think is pretty darned good. It was awesome before going in the barrel. Now there is enough oak in there that I'm not sure it's as good, but hopefully the oak will integrate in a couple years and the micro-ox of the barrel treatment will shine through. We'll see.