Monday, 28 July 2014

Mid Season Report - Whites

As promised in an earlier post, presented below is the mid-season report on the white varieties.  Overall for year 2, I would say that the whites have been more consistent in their growth then the reds but a bit more vigorous and difficult to control.  In most cases we should be able to lay off very nice canes on many of the varieties this year.

Nice consistent growth on 48-05-49 and Epicure
48-05-49/Epicure:  Achieved 100% bud burst sometime after May 11 (48-05-49 was at 30%, Epicure was at 80%).  These varieties are quite vigorous, and quite consistent throughout the row; however, both are performing better at the south end compared to the north end.  The internode is about 3 to 4 " for 48.05.49 so pretty good.  Epicure has very poor internodes - closer to 5 to 6".  Even with all the vigor, it is difficult to slow it down.  Both these varieties need a bit more maintenance to control the foliage.

Madeleine Angevine/Petit Milo/Auxerrois:  Achieved 100% bud burst shortly after May 11 (MA at 75%, PM at 65%, Aux at 90%).  These varieties are low vigor for the most part; however there are some sporadic vines in each row that are quite vigorous, particularly at the south end.  Smaller leaves on these varieties, which may be better for fruit ripening and mildew control as they will produce less shade.  The internode is very nice, ranging from 2 to 4". So far this is a very manageable vine with low maintenance to date.

Good internodes on Mad Angie
Large node spacing on the Osceola Muscat.
Madeleine Sylvaner/ Osceola Muscat: Achieved 100 bud burst shortly after May 11 (MS at 75%, OM at 80%).  These vines have proved to be very vigorous and difficult to control.  Osceola Muscat is close to extreme vigor.  Similar to the Red variety "LaBelle", some of the canes we laid down for Osceola Muscat died, while the rest of the shoots remained alive.  Due to the excessive vigor, controlling the internodes have been difficult, with some  shoots have spacing close to 8".   The north end has marginally slower vigor but still higher than average  These are high maintenance vines.  Mildew could be a concern with all the foliage.  Top Cordon Trellis may be a better option for this variety.

Chardonnay (Cl 76): Was quite slow to start having achieved only 50% bud burst by May 11.  While still slow, the growth has been very consistent over the row, with decent node spacing (3 to 4").  Very low maintenance in the vineyard; however, we did experience some winter death, so it will be interesting to see how it overwinters again.

Ortega/Siegerrebe/L'acadia Blanc: By May 11, both Ortega and L'acadia Blanc had achieved 90% bud burst.  Siegerrebe was very slow to start at only about 10%.  All varieties are pretty consistent throughout the rows, but as with other varieties, slightly slower at the north end.  Ortega and Siegerrebe have very nice internodes, L'acadia node spacing is average ~4 to 5".  These appear to be fairly easier to control in the vineyard with low maintenance to date.
Partial view of the whites in general

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Mid-Season Report - Reds

Greetings all, our summer started pretty wet with a decent amount of precipitation falling in June, prompting 2 or 3 mildew sprays.  As we approach mid-July, the sun is out in full force and (knock on wood) no signs of mildew on the vines.  I turned on the irrigation last week for the first time this year.  As our vines get more established, the need to irrigate will get less and less, to the point where a bit of drought and stress will be ideal for the vines.  We also got into a bit of gopher trouble with some damage on a few vines from a resident rodent, but hopefully we curtailed it before it got too bad.

If we go way back to the May 17th post, I detailed the stages of bud break on each of the red varieties. for this post we will look at where things are at now.

Marquette - one vine struggles, others thrive
Baltica/Marquette: by May 11, all Baltica had achieved 100%  bud burst with Marquette not far behind confirming our research that these were early budding varieties.  While there is a mix of success, for the most part the growth since bud burst has been really slow.  About 30% are barely above the height of the milk carton, with the struggles appearing to be more on the North end of the row.  Not always, in some cases a vine is really struggling and beside it is a vine that is thriving.  It the struggles continue, lab analysis may be required on the leaves to see if there are some nutrients lacking.   These varieties are showing some nice internode spacing and are proving to be quite manageable in the vineyard.

Regent and Pinot Noir - nice consistent growth in entire row
Regent/Zweigelt/Pinot Noir Cl 115/48-05-83: by May 16 these varieties were very near 100% bud burst.  All 3 varieties are showing consistent growth throughout the rows and have quite manageable vigour.  The internode spacing is pretty good.  All varieties should be established enough to lay down our first fruiting cane this pruning year.  To date quite manageable in the vineyard.

Leon Millet - poor internode spacing as a result of excessive vigour
Labelle with die back on the cane
Leon Millet/Baco Noir/Labelle: by May 16 these varieties were very near 100% bud burst.  Leon Millet and Labelle are really vigorous and proving difficult to control. Despite allowing multiple shoots to grow in attempts to slow things down, the vines continue to grow, with internode spacing close to 7 or 8 inches on many vines.  In year one we laid down canes on the LaBelle as it was so vigorous we felt it could handle the additional stress.  Many of the canes started very nice, but then all the shoots on the cane mysteriously died back last week.

As there are other thriving shoots on the same vine still alive we assume it was too much stress and growth for such a young vine.  Baco Noir has slightly less vigour, but the internode spacing is still quite large.  A little more investigation is required to see how we can control the vigour.  These vines require more attention in the vineyard compared to others.

Cab Libra: Cab Libra was very slow out the gate, where only 25% bud burst had occurred by May 16.  The variety also had substantially winter die back and we ending up have to replace 7-8
vines.  Cab Libra is still very slow, similar to Baltica and Marquette.  In this case the vines appear to be doing better at the north end.  The vines are showing some nice internode spacing, but it will be tough to be able to lay canes down on the whole row this year.

In the next week or so, I will detail the progress on the white varieties.  In the meantime, I welcome any and all feedback on what I presented here.