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Advice needed - planting in zone 4a/4b Northern Wisconsin?

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We are contemplating planting Marquette (and possibly petite pearl) on our land in northern Wisconsin (about an hour north of Green Bay - between Crivitz and Marinette). We have approx 20 acres open land - slightly sloping to the SW - plenty of sun - soil tests being completed this week.

Our question for the forum - does anyone have experience with planting in zones 4a/4b? Thoughts on Marquette and PP hardiness? Also, if we move forward with this project, we will be fencing the area we plant (electrified for deer / bear) - any northern growers have issues with bear?

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions you have :)
 

salcoco

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I would browse the University of Minnesotan web site or similar content for grape growing in your area. the UofM did all of the work on developing Marquette and other cold harder hybrids.
 

GreginND

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Here in ND we are in zone 4a/b and we have had a hard time with dieback every winter. This past winter pretty much devastated Marquette across ND, MN and WI with that early cold winter. If you have a protected area where cold air does not settle, maybe. One of the problems with Marquette is that it has an earlier bud break so can suffer more from late spring frosts. My petite pearl has failed as well. Everything has died back. I also know that Bevens Creek Nursery, where Petite Pearl was first commercialized, lost all of their Marquette and petite pearl this past winter down to the ground.
 

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There is a winery in Stevenson Mi, about half an hour past Marinette which claimed to be doing petite pearl four years back. It is worth asking them. Forgotten Fire, Marinette/ Crivitz seems to import everything they ferment. There are a few other commercial guys in that area that would be worth visiting to see what they do. If you are looking at Quarter acre plus they might buy some of the crop too.
There is a UW extension station at Door county which has test plots and several years of published grape yield, TA, etc data.
Parallel 44, a bit farther south, is growing petit e pearl and were good folks to talk to.
 

Rice_Guy

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The vinters club sent a note today: May help & interesting since Tom P will be there,,,,
Petite Pearl Field Day at West Madison Research Center (off Mineral Point) on August 12th. 10am -3pm. Lunch is available on pre-order. More info to come on how to signup. Tom Plocher will be presenting.
 

GreginND

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FYI - I hear through the Grapevine that while Bevens Creek lost their Marquette, Crimson Pearl and Petite Pearl last year, their Verona (another Tom P variety) survived well. I am considering adding that to my vineyard.
 

sremick

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Very interested in this thread as I just planted marquette & petite pearl, and I'm in the same hardiness zone
 

BigH

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FYI - I hear through the Grapevine that while Bevens Creek lost their Marquette, Crimson Pearl and Petite Pearl last year, their Verona (another Tom P variety) survived well. I am considering adding that to my vineyard.
I like hearing good things about Verona. Last year, I ripped out my Foch vines and replaced them with Verona. My biggest concern, if I was in your shoes, would be getting enough heat to ripen a crop of Verona. It is supposed to be the biggest GDD hog of the three.

H
 

wood1954

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i'm in Waupaca , we had -25f last winter, the Marquette survived just fine. you will need an 8' tall barrier for the deer. bears I don't know.
 
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All,

Thanks for the feedback so far. I’ve heard from a few vineyards in Marinette county that they have done well with Marquette - despite some wicked cold weather over the past winter. Of course every site is different and we are doing our best to position the new vineyard on a nice sloping (SW orientation) part of our land - being sure to stay away from low frost pockets. That said, we know there are no guarantees. Still leaning towards Marquette and PP Plus / Crimson Pearl. As far as fencing, now trying to decide between a 6’ fence with electrified top wire, or just an 8’ fence...
 
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Also forgot to ask, curious if any of you have had experience tasting Marquette, Verona, and PP? We enjoy Marquette and PP but haven’t tried Verona yet. We are winemakers as well so looking to choose a couple varietals that will stand on their own and blend well....
 

treesaver

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I was so looking forward to getting a taste of verona this year, then it was hit with the farmers drift. Killed some back a little last summer, then when I pruned this spring, I found green wood on. most of them. Cut them back, and almost half never came out at bud break. There have been several that have sent up growth from the rootstock, but all that showed signs of spray last spring, are stunted and may still lose them! Found out the spray was 24D and toradon.
 

Dennis Griffith

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i'm in Waupaca , we had -25f last winter, the Marquette survived just fine. you will need an 8' tall barrier for the deer. bears I don't know.
It doesn't need to be 8 foot if you slant it somewhat. It leaves the deer unsure if they can clear it, so they don't cross. 25 to 30 degrees will do it with a 6 foot height.
 

Rice_Guy

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E9150FB5-8112-4E8E-BE07-BCDAE5E01D8A.jpeg Shane, thought you might be interested in my first look at Itasca. (Have not done any chemistry’s yet)
Have fun dreaming about the crop!
 
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So cool! Thanks for pic rice_guy! We just ordered 217 vines each of Marquette, PP, and Itasca. Can’t wait for spring!
 

bshef

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Good luck! I'm worrying about zone 6a hardiness and a short growing season. I should be ashamed. Keep us posted. I'm adding Marquette to my vineyard in the spring.

As for deer and bears, we have both. Not sure that the bears will be as much trouble as the deer, raccoons, and birds - turkeys included. To think we wanted more wildlife 40 years ago.
 

Rice_Guy

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Good luck! I'm worrying about zone 6a hardiness and a short growing season. I should be ashamed. Keep us posted. I'm adding Marquette to my vineyard in the s.
Virginia has heat and fungal spores. Good luck with the spraying program
 

bshef

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Virginia has heat and fungal spores. Good luck with the spraying program
In my corner of the Virginia mountains, heat is my last worry. We rarely get to 90; we get loads of rain, heavy dew and fog so fungi may be an issue.
 

Dennis Griffith

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I have the same issue here in Southern Ohio. This year it was cool weather and high humidity. I think I live on fungus acres at times. Mancozeb should be the foundation of your spray program. Early on in the season, it is important to stem the tide. Remember that it has a long PHI, so I switch to other stuff 66 day before harvest. For me, Captan is also very important as it only has a PHI or 1 day. I have fruit trees, so what goes on the grapes must be good for the trees as well.
 

bshef

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Thanks Dennis! That’s what our vineyard management instructor (vineyard manager and winemaker at a successful winery) said. (Not to hijack the thread but good spray advice is invaluable to all growers.)
 

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