Climate zones

Discussion in 'Grape Growing & Vineyard Forum' started by Bkat, Apr 14, 2019.

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  1. Apr 14, 2019 #1

    Bkat

    Bkat

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    Curious how many growers strictly follow USDA climate zone guidelines for vines (i.e. live in zone 5 and plant vines suitable for zone 5, 4, and 3), how many err on the side of caution due to increasingly anomalous brutally cold winters (i.e. live in zone 5 but only plant vines suitable for zone 3), and how many throw caution to the wind and plant varieties that may be a little too cold sensitive for their particular zone? With the last one, I read that one grower in Vermont is growing Riesling. Not sure how that survives winters there.
     
  2. Apr 14, 2019 #2

    Masbustelo

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    A few years ago my zone was adjusted from 5 to 5b. I don't know if all zones were bumped like that or not, but I would play it safe and plant at least for the next half zone down. Also GDD (Growing Degree Days) needs to be taken into account. It might be possible for plants to survive the winters, but not have enough sun and heat to ripen the variety correctly.
     
  3. Apr 15, 2019 #3

    Bkat

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    Thanks Masbustelo. Sounds like you're similar to us. I'm contemplating whether Traminette isn't going to like our zone 5b that comes with some rather nasty windchills. Any thoughts? After last winter's -31 air temp (we had -50 windchill) it's made me question.

    I know USDA climate zones are "average" but most plants don't care too much about averages. They care about actual extremes.
     
  4. Apr 15, 2019 #4

    Masbustelo

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    Stark Brothers lists Traminette as Hardy to -15. For whites you might want to look at La Crescent. There is a vineyard near me with La Crescent. It is an early bearing, productive variety. I think you have to stay on top of your spray schedule with it. It is susceptible to leaf Phylloxera, which is mostly cosmetic. I grow Verona and Petite Pearl, which were undamaged last winter.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2019 #5

    Bkat

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    I had read that. Which sorta beget my question. I think we slip below the "average" coldest temperature maybe every 8 or 9 years, according to records I could find. Which got me wondering whether others take their chances or just choose varieties that will probably survive unscathed through any onslaught. Last year's -31 broke the previous record by a good measure.

    Good to hear your Verona and Petite Pearl made it through the extreme winter and I had also considered La Crescent knowing it's suitable for zone 3, but also read it's more disease prone than other varieties of vine. I considered Petite Amie for something different, but everyone seems to be sold out this year. I guess I'm still on the fence as to whether to take a chance on Traminette or if it's better suited for climate a couple hundred miles south.
     
  6. Apr 15, 2019 #6

    Masbustelo

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    Give Ardon Creek Vineyard in Letts Iowa a call. They might be a little North of you and are growing (it appears) Seyval Blanc, and LaCrosse. Regarding Traminette, I did a little search and didn't turn up anyone growing it in Iowa, but it seems common in Missouri.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2019 #7

    Bkat

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    Thanks. Yeah, I see growers in Missouri doing well with Traminette and the state of Indiana is making a big push for it, but while it was originally bred in Champaign/Urbana, I couldn't find a grower north of very southern Illinois that's planted it.
     
  8. Apr 15, 2019 #8

    Bkat

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    I looked up Ardon Creek and they say "Our grapes are red – Concord, Noiret, Chancellor and white – Edelweiss and LaCrosse. Our own juice is supplemented by the same varieties from the Finger Lakes wine region of New York." So it seems they grow LaCrosse (zone 3) but not Seyval Blanc (zone 5.) Might say something since they are pretty much same latitude as us.
     
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  9. Apr 15, 2019 #9

    Masbustelo

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    I think most would advise to play it safe. I'd hate to baby the vines long, invest money and time and then every five years have them frozen to the ground. It's an unnecessary risk, excellenet wines are being made from the Northern hybrids. Marquette as a red needs to be mentioned as well.
     
  10. Apr 16, 2019 #10

    Dennis Griffith

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    I choose my vines carefully. Not only do I look at climate hardiness, I also consider disease resistance. The zone I live in is 6A, but it is Ohio and folks joke about how unpredictable the weather is. So with that in mind, I proceed carefully as it is a lot of time and money to waste on an unwise decision. There are many varieties that are cold hardy and make good wine.
     
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  11. Apr 16, 2019 #11

    Rice_Guy

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    I chose my vines and pray. In essence that means I don’t trust the terms that show up in catalog descriptions.
    Grapes with vinifera genetics seem to need constant spraying,! ! ! You may get a crop every year but will the finished wine have acceptable acid? will it carry an unripe astringent flavor? You mentioned edelweiss yesterday which will grow in Minnesota, the catalog didn’t mention that over ten years of experience the berries fall on the ground if I aim for above 16brix/ low acid. (My hope is that The replacement for edelweiss will be Itasca )
    If your site is protected you might survive a zone warmer plant, can you plant against a south facing barn wall?
     
  12. Apr 25, 2019 #12

    KevinL

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    Looks like you're not too far from me. I'd say go conservative and plant well within your zone. I'm in the Chicago area at 5b on the map, yet my Vidal Blanc has been getting hammered by the winters. From what I can tell I lost all of the buds from last season. Even though they're supposedly hardy to Zone 5, I haven't had much luck with them.

    My Frontenac and Concords even took a little damage this year. My Petite Pearl and Itasca are relatively undamaged. I have to echo Dennis on researching more than just hardiness for your grapes though. I'd check out Itasca as well. I've got one row of 15 of them going into 3rd leaf this year and I've been impressed with their hardiness and disease resistance up to this point.
     
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  13. Apr 25, 2019 #13

    Dennis Griffith

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    With weather becoming more unpredictable, maybe it's best to hedge ones bet and go a zone colder. My grapes are in full grow mode, as they were last year at this time, but two years ago we had a hard freeze in the middle of May. Grapes didn't like that at all. It seems the winters are becoming warmer, with periods of unpredictability. But thunder storms in January?? At least I've seem to have made it through another winter with little damage.
     
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  14. Apr 29, 2019 #14

    Bkat

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    Good advice. The Midwest has been particularly prone to extremes that seem to negate the USDA "average" winter lows so counting on Zone 5b acting like Zone 5b "should" may be a risky bet. When choosing varieties, better safe than sorry, is probably a good adage to follow.
     
  15. May 20, 2019 at 1:24 AM #15

    Obbnw

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    I'm in SLC and decided to risk it. I planted tempranillo and malbec, zone 7 grapes. SLC is 6 historically and 7 on some recent maps. I've been here 22 yrs and it has only been below 0 twice. Once the first year we moved here. I've got a good microclimate and have the grapes against a retaining wall and can easily come protect them. (Only 20 plants total).
     
  16. May 20, 2019 at 4:27 AM #16

    Dennis Griffith

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    I'd mulch well to guard the roots. You can always cover the vines to protect against 'freezer burn'.
     
  17. May 20, 2019 at 12:28 PM #17

    Masbustelo

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  18. May 20, 2019 at 2:51 PM #18

    Obbnw

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    Salt Lake City Utah, elev 4502.3'

    OK I did make up the elevation but it is probably within a 100'
     
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