Monday, August 29, 2005

Picked grapes at Mitchel Vineyard Aug 26, 2005

Friday I picked about 60 lbs of Foch grapes at Mitchel Vineyard near Oregon, WI.

The grapes were 4th year foch grafted on 3309 root stock. This was the first harvest from
these vines.

The amount of grapes hanging were impressive. It took very little time for me to pick 60
lbs of grapes (about 45 minutes) The 60 lbs of grapes filled two 7 gal fermenter buckets.
I had half of them crushed.

From what I have been reading lately, it sounds like things are ripening quite fast this
year. Even near Minneapolis, the grapes are getting close to pick. I don't have a
refractometer yet, but I may pick this weekend in my vineyard. I hope to have about 20
lbs of foch.

I may pick some wild ripera also. and try to make a wine from it.

My vineyard in Sampson had over 2 inches of rain Friday night (8/26/2005), so the brix may
have dropped on them ... we will see how things look.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Mid August update

Another productive weekend in the vineyard. I didn't
report the last time (weekend of July 30-31) so I'll give
that first.

July 30-31
I was surprised to see how many weeds had grown since the
previous visit (about 2 weeks earlier) The rows Loyal and
the kids weeded were pretty weed free, but since we hadn't
had too much rain up there at the time I was surprised how
many weeds were in the other rows. I ended up taking the
weed whipper to them I then sprayed one of the upper rows
with RoundUp to see how that works.

Starting to get dry up there. I didn't see any noticeable
affect on the vines, although some of the foliage is
looking a little spotty. By that I mean maybe a little
mildew ... not sure. I also see that many of the vines in
the lower middle part of the vineyard was looking like it
had some sort of nutrient deficiency. All of the
Lacrosse look bad ... not sure if it was because they got
hit so hard by the Rose Chafers, or if it is disease or a
nutrient problem.

No sign of Japanese beetles this year ... yea! Some of
the berries on some of the grapes did not look good
though. I thought it may be black rot, also in some
places the seeds of the grapes were pushing through the

The experimental pit vineyard looks awesome despite no
moisture for a while, the ground felt moist beneath the
plastic. The plastic had a few large rips in it. I think
they are due to the plastic getting brittle from sun
exposures. The vines all look very healthy and quite

August 13-14

It was getting VERY dry up at the vineyard .... finally
got about 2 inches of rain a few days before I got up
there. Some of the cottonwoods are changing colors
already it was so dry. Grass didn't grow much, so that
gave me more time to spend on other things.

I put up 2 more trellis wires. I also hauled a few more
loads of stone to the seedless concord. I took leaf and
soil samples from 30 vines 10 old foch, 10 new foch, and
10 lacrosse. The soil samples were from the area of each

I also got 3 samples of leaves that looked diseased for
Mike to look at under the microscope.

The grapes are already going through verasion ... most are
nearly complete. I think I will have about 40 clusters
... unless the birds get them first. I tried one berry,
and was surprised how sweet it was, and it was not as
acidic as I would have thought.

The Lacrosse still look terrible I'm afraid I may lose
some this winter. The foch look good, not great, but
good. The saint pepin look very good. If I can get them
to pollinate next year, I expect to have a small crop next

The Landot noir are recovering nicely after most died back
to the roots after the winter.

As far as the pit vineyard ... what can I say ...
spectacular. Nearly all of the cab franc and merlot are
huge many with over 300 leaves each. some climbing over 5
ft already. One trunk looked to be an inch in diameter
already! Only the cab sauvignon is behind, but not too
bad. Some are nearly as large as the others. 5 did not
make it, but one did sprout eventually that I thought did
not make it. I now believe that I should have put up the
hoop house the first year. Definitely will next spring.
I have not irrigated these vine since mid July. Probably
could have through July. I will next year if they are
under a hoop house.