Champlain Valley - Grapemans' vineyard - Planting to small winery

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
As promised here are a couple pictures after I removed the old apple trees. Still needs cleaning up, leveling and plowing/harrowing some more.






Kind of sad to see the apple trees go, but know you have more apples around there than you can use.

I am always amazed at your soil, it looks like pure sand....Do you have to fertilize more to make up for it???

Your vines look nice.....

Know the new soil will be planted to more vines and become productive once again....

Thanks for sharing....
I can prune grape vines from the ground - and don't generally hurt myself

I will be putting in some trees to replace those taken out-probably next year. I will plant them on a trellis like grapes at a spacing of 4 feet x 9 feet- about twice as close as the grapes. By starting with a well feathered tree you can get about 200 bushels per acre in the second to third year and go up to around 500-1000 per acre. I have no desire for a lot of new trees. I have access to thousands of them if I want - just a few more for my use of a few new varieties.

The ground is sandy but transitions to a heavier clay content at the other end by the little payloader in the picture.
hey hey hey and hi Apple

What is your spacing and how long are your rows?

How many rows do you have?

Acerage in this bloc?


This is just a little backyard vineyard.... or so it began. There are only 12 rows of grapes at that area. The vines are 7 feet by 9 feet and about 240 feet long. I am adding another 12 rows in that block. They will be 6x9 feet. I am planting another block in a different area. That will have 27 rows at 9 foot spacing with 24 vines @ 6 feet apart.
OMG - Thatputs you over 1500 vines!!!!!!!!! Whew. How do you do it????

It's looking really good. Can't wait to watch your project unfold. Please keep toe pictures coming.
Bonnie it is a labor of <STRIKE>love</STRIKE> insanity. I do it one vine at a time. When I am done planting this year, there will be close to 2000 vines total - if I hold up that long. I will keep putting up pictures as long as there is an interest and I think I can help someone else out.
Work continues on the land preparations. Over the weekend I got the apple tree area totally prepared now. I took down a huge pine that was creating a lot of shade and had to drop it into the apple tree area. The tree was 80 feet tall and about 30 inches at the butt. We got the logs out to use and skidded out the top. I then took the york rake and cleaned the loose pine needles and small branches. Next up will be marking rows and beginning planting. I also worked up the other acre plus field in preparation for planting. It is also ready to plant. The only area not ready yet is where we took out some shrubby pines (up to 2 feet across). I need to get two stumps dug out with a backhoe. The payloader just couldn't get them out.

I have some vines set to ship to me tomorrow from Double A Vineyards. Those are table grapes and some others I wanted to add to the vineyard.

The one bud cuttings so far are a dismal failure. The best luck I am having so far is from cuttings I took at Thanksgiving and stored in the garage in plastic containers right around freezing. I took them out a few weeks ago, put them in some perlite for a week or so on the heat mat. I then made 2-3 bud cuttings and put in my small 38-50 plug trays. The Marquettes are sprouting buds and some of them have roots big enough to pull the whole peat plug out when you lift the cutting.

After I plant the vines from Double A I will start digging the vines in the nursery and planting them. I plan to try an old potato digger to dig them out. I will let you all know haow that works later.

All for now!
Looks great, Appleman. get 80 feet of tree around here, I'd have to cut down 8 trees.
Rich, I look at your pictures with envy and then I get exhausted when I realize the hard work you are doing!! I know it is a labor of love or it wouldn't be successful!
They are coming - or at least the first ones are!

My vines from Double A Vineyards are set to arrive today. There is only 159 of them - mostly 1-X vines (1 year extra large). These are some to round out my selection
. I am approaching 40 varieties......

I will get them in the ground as soon as I can and begin work digging and planting the rest of them out of the nursery.

I got roundup applied to the grasses and perennials in the existing vineyard. Yesterday was so nice I played hookey from work for a couple hours to get that done- before it got too hot. It got up to the mid 90's by late afternoon. High today of about 75 expected with low tonight mid 30's.
In case anyone thinks I am removing all the trees like in the rainforest here is a couple shots showing there are still plenty around.



A picture of currants- a bit over 4 feet tall.


A few training methods
Umbrella kniffen for Catawbas


VSP Frontenac


An Ugly LaCrosse 4 Arm Kniffen

The ground is getting closer to planting here- this was apple trees a bit over a week ago.


And finally buds are sprouting on 2 bud cuttings I planted about 10 days ago.

The single bud cuttins so far are a flop. There have only been a few buds that have sprouted and I have seen no root development yet. I would say maybe it was the variety, but the ones you see above that are budding and developing roots are Marquette also. These are two bud cuttings- one below and one above the soil line. I like these trays abovebecause they allow the soil to warm well quickly in the sun which in turn callouses well which in turn develop into roots. These trays hold 50 cuttings and later you can sort the ones that grew and the ones that didn't before moving on in the growing cycle either going to the nursery or you could even plant with a transplanter on a mulched bed. In the future I will probably grow them this way, make a slightly raised bed nine feet apart,and lay drip line under a two year decomposable mulch paper. That will allow for quicker first two years growth and control weeds without herbicides while they are small. I would then use our water wheel transplater which pierces the mulch every predetermined spacing and puts in a cup or so of water. You then take a plug and place it in the wetted hole (the two people planting ride on the machine).

But I am getting ahead of myself here................ Youd didn't ask about all that
Appleman/Grapeman, I appreciate your time and efforts in posting to this thread. Growing things is no longer a option for me. I feel like I can still enjoy the experience by following your pics and updates.

You're right - I can still see some trees in the distance where you've prepared for the expansion, but isn't that your neighbor's hill?


- Jim