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Champanel Grape Wine

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stdkls28

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I have been researching grapes for planting on a 6'W X 6'L X 8'H arbor. I live just West of Houston, Texas in a clay/clay loam soil. The grapes i'm trying to decide between are:

Black Spanish and Champanel. From what i found i really like the Champanel grapes but cannot find any insight on the what type of wine they can produce. I know the balck spanish are used in ports and make a wine much like merlot and cabernet....which really has my attention but they have less diease tollerence than the Champanel.

Also if i can find them there is a clone of Black Spanish called 'Favorite'...anyone heard of this and have any insight on this one as well? I hear it produces more fruit and is has better disease resistance.

Thanks,
Keaton
 

Sparky

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Hey there fellow Houstian,

I'm in NW Harris county area.

I too, researched the dickens out of grapes for our area and I was leaning towards Champanel but after speaking with several people. They turned me away from that grape.

Pierce Disease is a big problem for us. So, that limits are wine grape selections to Muscadine/Scuppernong or some varieties with PD resistance.

So, good wine PD resistant varieties are, Black Spanish, Favorite, Lomanto, Hebermont, Blanc du Bois and maybe Cynthiana. Haak Winery is in the Sante Fe area but gets their grapes along the route to Brenham. Haak Winery will allow you to help with winter pruning and you can take the cuttings to root your own.

It takes about 12lbs of grapes to yield a gallon of wine. From a mature vine you can expect on average 8-12lbs per vine.

Regards,
John
 

stdkls28

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Hey thanks John! That's was great info and I'll def look into that. With Haak Winery...are you talking about they'll let you take some cuttings of Black Spanish or of the Champanel?

After more research and that i prefer a dry red like merlot or cabernet I so i'm going to go with the Black Spanish grapes. I would love to find the clone, Favorite, to grow but I have heard they are extremely hard to find...
 

Sparky

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I believe Haak has Blanc du Bois around the Sante Fe. He may also have Black Spanish too.

I purshased my grapes from
http://www.womacknursery.com/

I didn't use the typical grape trellis system. It's something of my own design.


Regards,
John
 

stdkls28

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John thank you for the link! They have the exactly what i'm lookin for; I really appreciate it!

I'm going to call them up for some pricing tomorrow. I wonder how many grapes i can expect from one vine when mature....pounds that is? So i know how many I will need to order. Also am wondering how long it takes for them to be mature enough for to fully produce.
 

Sparky

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Keaton, American grapes such as Cynthiana(aka Norton) and some of the Munson varieties. You can expect a little higher Yield versus Vinifera types.

For production to ramp up, you can expect 3 years (3 leaf cycle). They recommend removing all grapes until you get to the 3rd leaf cycles. By then, the root structure is set. I'm expecting ~10lbs grapes per vine.

Most likely, they will take your order but don't expect them to until some time after Christmas. But get your order in.

One word of advice. Get that soil ready now.

John
 

stdkls28

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Again, Thank you John! I have found a few places that carry the Black Spanish Clone "Favorite" and will price those. So if I buy a 2 year old plant in a year or so I'll have fruit is what you are saying correct? I'm new to grape growing and will need to research the leaf cycles, the care techniques and the soil requirements due to the heavily clay soil we have here...
 

stdkls28

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Black Spanish Grape

John,

How did you plant your black spanish? Raised beds or pots? If beds how deep/high? and if pots how big of pots?

Thanks,
Keaton
 

Sparky

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Keaton,

I do a little gardening around my yard. Everything I do is organic. All my grapes are in the ground. I probably have the same Katy prairie stuff as you.

My beds are a little raised perhaps an 1". The main thing is to get the soil microbiology started now while the ground is still warm. I added several soil amendments. None of the hokes pokes stuff. By that I mean, zealite, lava sand, blah blah blah.

Here is basically what I added to my soil,

1). Compost
2). Alfalfa, I purchase range cubes from Tractor supply. You can get a 50# for 10-11 dollars. Throw some into a bucket and add water to cover. This stuff will swell. so only use about half as much.
3). I use organic fertilizer. You can use whatever you prefer. Organic will last you from now till planting time. A liberal amount.

You will need to break up the soil, shovel depth. Try not to create a bowl or you will end up with a soupy mess. Add the compost, alfalfa and fertlizer on top and work it back in. Once that is done. You can mulch your bed with more compost about 1-2" thick, to help keep any weeds at bay. Then let the bed sit. Two weeks or month before planting, work into the soil some of that compost mulch.

You will most likely receive the vines before you are ready to plant. You can put them into a planter with potting soil. You can leave them out during the day but Protect them from freezes during the winter. When the buds begin to swell you can plant.

Pay attention to your sunshine during the late spring to early fall. The sun sets differently in the winter. You should base your location off of that knowledge. Not the winter sunshine.


Regards,
John
 

stdkls28

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Wow, thanks john! That was much better presented than the information i've read from doing a few short searches. I'll have to look into starting a compost container and will def use the range cube advice. This will help me alot!
 

Pbrownie

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Planting Grapes in SE Houston Q????

So, did you plant your grapes? I'm on the exact same novice-grape-planter journey you are on. I live in SE Houston and am trying to get the Lomanto (a TV Munson Variety), and the Black Spanish planted. It was nice to see all the great comments going on...very helpful. Thanks everyone.

So, my question is how did you plant it??? Did you soak it in a bucket of water for 6 hours before? Also, when you dug a hole, what was it's diameter (about) and how deep was it? I have a ton of that awful clay soil if you get about 1.5 feet deep.

I read the post on how you fluffed the soil and got it prepped. I have nice compost out there...I'd just like a little advice on the actual planting of it.

Thanks everyone for your help!
 

Sparky

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Pbrownie I'm not sure who you are addressing your questin too.

My lomanto and Favorite grapes will be on their second leaf this year. Then I purchased them, they were already 2 year old plants. The reached their height of 5' and put on laterals last year. I will be pruning them in a few days. I'm expecting a light to medium crop this year.

Depending on the number of plants. you can add them to a pot with potting soil, until you have the soil or beds ready. For example, 1 large pot for all 10 vines. Plus using a pot will allow you to protect them in case of any unexpected freeze. The buds will begin to swell or leaf break and you'll know it's time to plant.

About planting, you should see on each vine a soil mark or ring. Just plant the vine to that depth. Since I did the pot method above, I saw no reason to do the 6 hour soak. Plus after you plant the vine, you will add water to the plant to rid the soil of any air pockets.

What does you soil look like below 1.5'. I know my katy prairie clay is a few feet down but once you get past it, there is some nice soil.

Regards,
John
 

Pbrownie

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Hey Thanks,

I was directing my question towards anyone. So I'm only planting 2 vines, and if you think I should keep them in doors until about Feb, I will. I'll plan them in a big pot. Was the transfer from the pot-to-soil difficult? It seems like one might risk damaging the roots in the process.

I truly had a hard time getting past the clay. When I was digging my 2 foot holes for my trellis posts, I just kept getting more and more clay! I've been putting down my own compost, some compost from a local farmer (Actually I think he was from Katy), and then another 14 bags of compost, so I have a nice high bed with at least a few feet of soil before one hits clay. So when I said '1.5 feet deep' I meant from ground level, but I have probably about 3-3.5 feet of soil/compost ready for the vines to grow in.

One more question: When you recieved your bare root vines, how did you prune them? Mine are a mess with TONS of shoots coming out. I'm feeling a little shy about trimming. Should I just pick the 2 lowest and largest shoots and snip everything else off?

Thanks!
 

Sparky

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You don't need a big pot for two vines. The pot or container is just there to keep the roots moist until you are ready to plant.

When the vines start leafing, you will start getting active root growth. White roots indicates healthy growth. When you are ready to plant, just empty the pot contents on the ground and separate the vines. You can't hurt them. The plants have all their energy stored within the vine and will easily take off.

It sounds like the soil should be fine. One issue you may run into is drainage. If all that organic material towards to bottom of the hole could turn anerobic and it will get smelly. Most plants will not grow well in that condition. You should check the holes a few weeks before you plant.

My grapes were two year old vines. One year old vines, I would treat differently. Here is what I did to mine. I gave mine a light prune when I planted each one. During Spring, I let them go wild. Trying to get as much green growth as possible. The more the green growth, the more roots. Mid to late Spring, I pruned to 1 strong cane, leaving all grow on that cane alone. This will concentrate the growth up that cane. When the cane got to the specific height, I tipped pruned it. Once you tip prune a leader, it forces the laterals to start growing at each node along the cane. For my vines, I plan to use a Head-cane method. Every season, replace the fruited lateral canes with new ones and remove the old canes. There are many thoughts and methods on this subject.

What kind of trellis are you using?

Regards,
John
 
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