Advice on vines sought by a reeeeeaall beginner

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Art2019

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And when I say real....

Attaching shots of a vine we planted this past spring here in Southern California. We have no flat land, hence the pot. It started well, I trimmed off a third shoot and trained the others to grow northward. As the very hot summer dragged on I attached the mesh you see over the top. No idea if that was a good idea and/or if I did it too late.

There are still some green leaves at the top here in early November, but as you can hopefully tell the vine itself is brown and looks dead to my untrained eye. I should add that it never flourished as well or as quickly as I'd hoped, topping out where you see it in the photo (hope you can see!) with not too many leaves and to be sure no tiny grape clusters (that I was of course prepared to cut off and dispose of).

Have I over-watered? Under-watered? Is the vine in fact dead, or will it resurrect itself after our terrible winter? And if so, should I cut it back to the base?

Clearly I'm in need of help! All suggestions gratefully appreciated.

Art

vines 11-19 (1a).jpg vines 11-19 (2a).jpg vines 11-19 (3a).jpg vines 11-19 (4a).jpg
 
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bshef

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I know nothing about California growing season but that vine looks great to me. The stems should brown up as they mature. I’m sure your California neighbors will chime in with better information and advice.
 

srcorndog

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Put the vine in the ground! Remember it is a vine treat it like a vine cut it back to pencil size in the dead of winter. Be vigorous visit vineyards close to you and plant what they grow.
 

Art2019

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My thanks to both of you! Sdog... pardon the idiot here, but when you say cut it back to pencil size, are you referring to cutting both of the shoots back to where they branch off from the main stem? If so, how close do you recommend? And of course our dead of winter is one night of 38 degrees in January...

In truth this is kind of a pilot project. We do have a sort of flattish area at the top of the property, and my thought was to first try growing down where it's accessible. Call it proof of principle. If after a year or two I'm successful then I can clear that slight slope and put in a dozen feet or so (whatever fits) of proper vines. Well, that's the theory anyway.

I greatly appreciate the advice!
 

srcorndog

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Cut both back to size of a pencil plant in the ground. Remember you will need a soil sample before you plant a larger number of vines. Ground needs to be balanced.
One question was this vine a graft ? If so don't cut below the graft. Graft will look like a knot on the stem . Remember plant more vine and drink more wine!
 

Art2019

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Great great great. Thank you grandly, srcorndog. (oh, and no, not a graft... that would be for experts like you!)
 

GreginND

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For the record, when they say "pencil size" they are referring to the girth of the cane. You should prune back the previous year's growth to the point that the cane is pencil thick (or thicker if you need to prune back more).
 

efBobby

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I'm somewhat new myself but what stood out to me was your description of the land.

Actually you do not want flat land. Happy grapes like slopes because it aides in drainage greatly and in my opinion it would be nuts not to use every natural advantage possible!

I have sometimes considered amending my slope angle to be steeper, lol.

Higher the slope angle, the better the drain, the more frequently you can irrigate(with the right soil).

Also what kind/variety/species are you growing?

Edit: you will soon discover that you will readily take all the help you can get! Don't get me wrong a grape vine is easy to grow but not so much to maintain since it is EVERYTHING'S favorite food!! It's only natural aid is the camouflage of the forest and we have taken that away. Tbh I am surprised it hasn't evolved to be poisonous yet!
 
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Johnd

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Actually you do not want flat land. Happy grapes like slopes
Don’t tell that to the $1,000,000 per acre Napa Valley floor vineyard owners!! Some of the best wines in the country come from there.
 

efBobby

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Don’t tell that to the $1,000,000 per acre Napa Valley floor vineyard owners!! Some of the best wines in the country come from there.

This one slipped by me but those million dollar vineyards are also using top Dollar rootstocks I imagine. Heck with the right rootstock you could grow them upside down, in a cave, on Mars.

However the OP makes no mention of rootstock so most likely is growing it on its own roots and when growing a pure species on its own roots things like terrain slope angle tend to matter more in my opinion.

This does give me an idea to help the OP. Even with flat land a lot of times you wil see the grapes with little mounds of earth around the base of the vines; I would assume to channel excess water away from the base to aid in drainage. While the roots are planted into the mounds to raise the overall planting depth of the vine above that of the terrain. I would still encourage the OP to copy the technique by depotting it without disturbing it, build a drainage mound and plant it which in theory will lead to a healthier vine through better drainage next season.
 
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