Monday, December 17, 2007

December 2007 weather update

A missed St Pepin cluster

It has been a cold snowy December. Our low temperature in the vineyard hit -7 F on December 6, but for the most part, we have been hanging out in teens and twenties. We have had a good 8" of snow on the ground throughout, so everything should be good.

The inside of the high tunnel has been as low as 15F so things are exceeding my expectations on that front.


Linnea said...

I was quite excited to stumble across your blog today. I'm hoping to begin a small vineyard this next spring. I live in northern B.C., Canada. Although most people would discourage a vineyard this far north (B.C. vineyards are all in the warm Okanagan valley) I love a challenge. I grew a few Valiant vines and found they do very well here. I also want to try Prairie Star and Kay Gray. I am extremely interested in your high tunnel. Will you use it for the more tender varieties? Where did you find it or is it your own design? Love your pics and look forward to tracking your progress in the new year.

Jerrold said...

Hi Linnea, glad you found my blog!

I just planted Prairie Star last year, having heard good things about it.

Regarding the high tunnel; I am growing tender vinifera varieties in it that are only cold hardy to about -10F(-23C). The high tunnel is not only used for winter protection, but season extension which will be needed to ripen the grapes properly. I'm still experimenting to determine how much winter protection is actually provided, and whether it is economically viable.
I got mine from farmtek/clearspan

Good luck with your grapes!

Linnea said...

Thanks for the info. It's the winter protection that concerns me most. Because the vines are enclosed in the tunnel they won't have any snow cover. Of course, if you can keep up the temperature within the tunnel it won't be a problem. Our temperature drops to -40C most winters so it will be interesting to see the difference in temperature inside and outside the tunnel.

Jerrold said...

Ouch -40 C !!! Your concerns are valid. I hope to have some more data on temperature by the end of the winter.
The other issue for you would be sunlight. Even on my shortest winter days, I still get over 8.5 hours of sun, to help warm the tunnel. I'm guessing you get closer to 7.
Snow of course does a pretty good job insulating, but unfortunately snow is not as dependable in my location as it use to be.
There are a lot of unknowns, but it's the challenge that makes it interesting.

Linnea said...

I love a challenge so I'm up for it. Another thing I'm considering is something I learned from orchardists. They graft crabapple trees onto their other fruit trees to attract bees to the orchard. Crabapples blossom before any other fruit tree. I plan to plant one or two crabapples in the vineyard for the same purpose, as those darling little pollinators seem to be getting fewer and fewer. You're right about our hours of sunlight - pretty dismal lengthwise in the winter although very bright for the most part during the day. I checked out the site you recommended for the high tunnel. Which model do you have?

Jerrold said...

I got the "Premium Round Style High Tunnel 30'W x 12'H x 96'L" I think smaller would have been a lot easier to put up. The center height is about 12 feet hight (3.5 meters) Also you may want to consider the snow load. I've read round are not as good as the gothic style for shedding snow.

Rodrigo Veraldi Ismael said...

Congratulations for the great job whith wines, in that so cold place. I have a litlle vineyard in Brazil, in the coldest regions of this country. There is no snow, only frost, Hard frost (40 days a year). You can se in This year we bottled about 400 and next year i intend to produce 1000 bottles.
Rodrigo Veraldi