Okay, enough with the rain already! What a challenge it has been to keep up with the necessary sprays this spring season. We have gotten two in so far but would be far happier to see less rain! We have 750 grape plants with 154 more to plant this spring.
East Vineyard: Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Traminette, Seyval
The Cabernet Franc did not do well this past winter. We were afraid that the severe low temperatures would play a part in their survival and it looks like we have lost around 40 plants. That is one fifth of our Cab crop. We estimate a 90% primary bud kill so we will have far less Cab Franc for harvest this year. Luckily, the ’07 and ’08 harvests were large ones, and we should have plenty of Cab Franc in bottles from those vintages.
There are 54 Riesling plants in our East vineyard. They also had winter kill and we lost around 10 plants. The primary bud damage was around 90%. The 2008 Riesling has just been bottled and we have around 9 cases. We will be lucky to get 4 cases out of the 2009 Harvest! (I really believe this is what makes small vineyards so interesting; small lots and so different every year!)
We are new to this business and growing grapes, but we thought the Traminette would do better than the vinifera in this vineyard, but they also sustained around a 90% bud kill. Some of you that are reading this may remember the fantastic harvest the past two years; we may not need too many grape pickers this year! (140 gallons of Traminette is ready for bottling from 2008; around 5 cases left from the 2007 harvest.)
Seyval is also grown in our East vineyard. We lost a few of these plants and expect a 50% primary bud kill. This grape is used to make Leighton.
North Vineyard: Traminette, Frontenac, Niagara
The Traminette is this vineyard did not do well this winter. We lost several plants and they are slow to show growth. We are also concerned that the soil here may be too heavy for this variety. Do not expect a big harvest here like ’08.
The Frontenac should be ready to show their stuff this year as they are in their 4th year. We did, however, lose a few plants to winter kill. We have a small amount of Frontenac from last year’s harvest and will be using it for blending. We are very happy with its taste and aroma so far for such a young red.
In this vineyard, we also have young Frontenac and young Niagara. They all look like they survived the winter. Of course, we will not be letting these 2 year old plants set grapes until next year.
West Vineyard: Foch, DeChaunac, Vignoles, Aurore
The Foch look fine and we expect a better harvest this year, as our 3 year old plants should give us a small crop.
DeChaunac survived well and should also give a better harvest with the addition of 3 year old plants. Hair of the Dog is made from this grape.
Vignoles are slow to show growth but seem to be alive and well. We have a small amount of Vignoles and will wait until harvest to decide where this wine will fit in.
Aurore is doing well. We have a very small amount of this grape that we will use for blending.
NEW FOR 2009:
90 NEW MARQUETTE PLANTS have arrived from Grafted Grapevine nursery.
“Marquette is a promising new red wine variety that combines high levels of cold hardiness and disease resistance with excellent wine quality. ”
54 VIDAL BLANC have arrived from Grafted Grapevine nursery.
Vidal is a white grape grown primarily in the northeastern US and Canada. It is finished in a variety of styles and can also be used for late harvest wine, ice wine, and for blending.
Marco is happy that Spring is here!