Sunday, August 25, 2013

Nets are on! Veraison going well.

We finished netting all of the grapes yesterday.   It's always a good feeling when the nets are all finally on.    At this point in the season we take a rest from canopy management.   Fungicide spraying usually slows by this time too.    Now we need to hope for good weather until harvest.

Veraison on Marquette is complete, frontenac and foch should be complete soon.   Lacrescent, prairie star and st pepin are further along than I would have thought given the late start.   If weather remains good, we should have an excellent harvest.  (currently scheduled for September 28)
Marquette on Aug 24

Frontenac on Aug 24

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Veraison progressing well

The first signs of veraison appeared on August 7 in Marquette.  By August 17,  veraison is nearly complete in Marquette (greater than 75%) and Frontenac is over half complete.   Foch has not yet reached 50%.  We are expecting at least a week of temperatures in the eighties.   Hopefully the heat will accelerate ripening.    

The nets started going up on Saturday.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

It was Hail!

Last week I posted about some unusual splitting of grapes at the end of July.   After a bit of research, we have come to the conclusion that damage was caused by hail. 

The following evidence points to hail:
-the damage was not there on Thursday (7/25), but was very apparent on Saturday (7/26).
-the weather system that passed by the vineyard had echos greater than 60 dbz (this is often an indication of hail.)
-upon searching for grape damage from hail, I found the following blog with nearly identical damage that I saw
-nearly all the damage was on the exposed side of the grape bunches.

I'm hopeful that the damage occurred early enough that the affected berries will just dry up, and not be a vector for disease.   The limited research I have performed points to that idea.   Now I need to hope for good ripening weather.

My first Japanese beetle

There herrrreee!

Well, they finally made it to Sampson.  I found my first Japanese beetle in the vineyard on Thursday, August 1.   The lone beetle was found on my Marquette vines.   I tried to get a picture, but it dropped to the ground before I could get my phone focused. 

I'm less concerned about Japanese beetles compared to Rose Chafers.   The Japanese beetles are an issue later in the season, and cause mostly cosmetic damage.