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2018 Growing Season. How was yours?

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JimInNJ

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I've seen news reports about the great 2018 wine growing season from several parts of the world. How was yours?

In NJ we started with a late budbreak. Plenty of rain during the summer, and resultant excessive vine vigor. Then almost non-stop rain, fog and clouds in September and October, blessing me with poorly ripened watery grapes and a bumper crop of Downy Mildew.
 

Stressbaby

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Central Missouri - kept up with the spray program so no disease issues. BAD Japanese beetles right when I left town for a week so lost about 1/3 of crop. Still managed 200# which I didn't think was too bad for second year.
 

CTDrew

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Ditto here. Lots of rain, fog and humidity. Some varieties failed to really ripen and had to be dropped and tossed on the compost pile. That said I made a few gallons of wine which was pretty good for getting 12 inches of rain in August alone!
 

CK55

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Ditto here. Lots of rain, fog and humidity. Some varieties failed to really ripen and had to be dropped and tossed on the compost pile. That said I made a few gallons of wine which was pretty good for getting 12 inches of rain in August alone!
What failed to ripen? Just out of curiosity.

I only got about 125 pounds of mixed old vine grapes off some 40 year old vines i have. But then again thats pretty good given the age of the vines. They managed to reach about 18-21 brix with one somehow reaching 28 brix. I have no clue weird ripening. Then i got a crapload of rain and started getting bad mildew on the clusters and had to harvest early.

My newer vines are still maturing with some doing better than the rest, my Barbera got massacred by freak heatwaves and has been slow to recover and has been growing really slowly.
 

KevinL

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Pretty much exactly the same here in Northern Illinois.
Can confirm. Late bud break + excessive pre-harvest rain left me with some low sugar Frontenac. Raccoons and Possums destroyed everything else I had. I'll be prepared for the vermin next year, but I can't control the weather.

Overall pulled in 140 lbs of Frontenac with these Numbers:

19.6 Brix
10.35 g/L TA
pH 3.46

Pulled in about 16 pounds of Vidal Blanc as well.
 

balatonwine

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Mine was mixed.

Year started great. Really, really great. Was expecting a huge harvest.

Then we got 2 weeks of rain right at the bloom. Then a lot of rain after that for a month. Could not keep up with the mildew.

So in the end I got good results on varieties that I planted especially known to be mildew resistant in our region (and were actually historically planted here), and all others (mostly these were the older vines of large yielding but mildew sensitive Welschriesling) were devastated.
 

CK55

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Gruner Veltliner and Frontenac Blanc both had extremely poor season and did not ripen up. Did okay with Cayuga and Aromella though considering the weather.
Thats unfortunate, I hope that you have a better season next year.
 

kyle5434

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I've only got two vines each of Canadice & Concord, and while it looked like I might get an OK harvest, some critter ate 99% of the grapes just before they were ripe enough to harvest. It happened last year, too. This year I even put out some fake owls (with heads that rotate in the wind), but to no avail. (Critters - I suspect raccoons - also got almost all of my melons this year).

I'm planning to pull out the grape vines next spring and replace them with some bush cherries. I think the June harvest may help me stay ahead of the critters hunting for food later in the season, and still give me some wine making material.
 

JimInNJ

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You might be able to build a critter resistant cage around those four vines.
 

CK55

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I've only got two vines each of Canadice & Concord, and while it looked like I might get an OK harvest, some critter ate 99% of the grapes just before they were ripe enough to harvest. It happened last year, too. This year I even put out some fake owls (with heads that rotate in the wind), but to no avail. (Critters - I suspect raccoons - also got almost all of my melons this year).

I'm planning to pull out the grape vines next spring and replace them with some bush cherries. I think the June harvest may help me stay ahead of the critters hunting for food later in the season, and still give me some wine making material.
Don't remove them, give it another year. It takes so long to get good yields that if you remove them it's a waste of good grapes
 
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Dennis Griffith

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We did ok considering our crop of downy mildew due to excessive rain and humidity. We are at least 12 inches above normal for the year. Next year will be better. As for critters, I have extensive defenses setup as I have to contend with deer (lots), as well as raccoons, possums, turkeys, and birds. Seems everything likes grapes and grape leaves. Here is a shot of my fence (+ electric).

DSCN3704.JPG

And a couple of shots of harvest.

IMG_4280.jpg IMG_4285.jpg
 

CK55

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We did ok considering our crop of downy mildew due to excessive rain and humidity. We are at least 12 inches above normal for the year. Next year will be better. As for critters, I have extensive defenses setup as I have to contend with deer (lots), as well as raccoons, possums, turkeys, and birds. Seems everything likes grapes and grape leaves. Here is a shot of my fence (+ electric).

View attachment 52053

And a couple of shots of harvest.

View attachment 52054 View attachment 52055
Nice setup and nice grapes.
 

Dennis Griffith

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It's a lot of work. The year has been challenging in that I've felt like I was growing in rain forest like conditions. Definitely didn't have to use the drip irrigation much. And the grass seemed to grow like 3" a day, so mowing was a constant state of being as I mow several acres. Next year should be fun as I'm adding Cab Franc and venturing into VSP.
 

VillaVino

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Pretty sure I was hit with the flea beetle this year. Total vineyard yield was down about 40%. I had whole rows without a single grape cluster. Next year, I’ll take a day off work the minute I see one of these devils. We have 3 acres of vines in central Wisconsin.
 

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