Monday, October 19, 2009

Vinifera in Wisconsin? Yes We Can! almost .....

Karen and Jack picking the Cabernet Franc.

Saturday October 17 we picked the vinifera grapes in the high tunnel. We picked at sugar levels much lower than ideal. We had a very hard freeze the weekend before (20F,) and the high tunnel got to 29 F, so ripening had pretty much stopped.

The vines were hit pretty hard with powdery mildew this year, due to some poor vineyard management by yours truly. The ripening on the cab sauvignon, cab franc and merlot was just creeping along over the last month and a half. Only the chardonnay escaped the full brunt of the powdery mildew. The Cab franc and Cab Sauv were very under ripe. (not quite 16 brix) Merlot made it too almost 19 brix, and chardonnay did best of all, getting to 21.2 brix before the freeze.

I will definitely have to be more aggressive with my spray program next year. I think that in a normal year, with better viticulture practices, I should be able to reach the low 20's in brix.

Monday, October 12, 2009

20F on Oct 11. Hard Freeze

The vineyard got down to 20 F on Oct. 11. Needless to say we got our hard freeze. Despite my best attempts to keep the high tunnel from freezing we got down to 29F the same night in the high tunnel. I plan to harvest those grapes this weekend.