Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Budding out!


Here are a few pictures of the vineyard in Osgoode.  These plants were planted last spring so these are one-year old plants.  The trellis posts were added at the end of the summer, and the wire earlier this year in april. 

                       Budding out!

These are two of the rare canes that survived the winter.  The first is a Marquette vine that is very winter hardy (to approx. -35 degrees C).  The second one is Sabrevois, another hardy variety.   Most of the other vines died to the ground but are still budding.  They look more like this. 

                       A little bruised but doing ok...

The idea was that I would train one cane the first year to become the main trunk for the following years.  Because of this year's results, I might change strategies and wait for the second year to establish the trunk. This will allow the vine to focus on establishing a good root system in the first year.  It seems that, although the growth was spectacular last year ( almost 7 feet of growth for some...), the shoots might not have been strong or hardened enough to survive winter.  Another factor could have been the very warm weather we've had in March ( a whole week in the 20's... ).  That could have brought the vines out of dormancy just enough to make them very vulnerable to the cold temperatures.  Needless to say, I still have a lot of experimenting to do.  I'm just happy the're all alive and budding!

Trellis pictures...

                                     Whole trellis system.

This is the trellis system I will be using.  I plan on training the vines on a VSP system (vertical shoot positioning).   My main wire is approx. 28-30 in high and will support the cordons or the canes.  I will experiment with both spur and cane pruning but either way, the growth will be trained upwards through a series of catch wires (not installed yet) .

                             End post.                                                                             Earth anchor.

For my posts, I used those pressure treated "mini ties" they sell at landscape or garden stores.  I found them on sale and they were my cheapest option as money was tight.  I put gravel in the bottom of my holes to improve drainage and we also have very sandy soil so they should last a few years...

                                     Just eyeballed the angle... Turned out pretty good!

So for now, I have six 100 ft rows and my spacing is 6 ft between vines and 8 ft between rows.
That means 100 vines give or take.  The whole area is not planted yet but I have a whole new batch of plants that I've started from cuttings this year to fill the empty spots.

Here are the varieties:

 Planted last year:
 Marquette, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac, Marechal Foch, Sabrevois, Baco Noir and some wild Riparia vines (to experiment with and perhaps for breeding).

 Coming this year:
Seyval Blanc, De Chaunac, Landal and some Reisling and Chardonnay vines that I've grafted (first attempt at grafting, more on that later...) on wild riparia rootstock.  Also, a vine started from seeds that came out of batch of wine my father and I made.  It is eather Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot (the seeds got mixed up during winemaking).  I was just curious to see what would happen but the vine actually survived two winters so I'll give it a shot.

Also, a few eating varieties: Steuben Blue, Niagara.

As you can see, busy summer ahead!

Thanks for visiting.

(Next time: New Plants!)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The beginning ...

Hello everyone!

This blog will be about sharing my experiences in building a vineyard from scratch.  All that in Osgoode, Ontario - where the climate is... marginal to say the least.  Everything from building a trellis and starting grapevines from cuttings, to cold climate grape growing, to hopefully making good wine with these grapes one day. 

So stay tuned, more to come soon!