Grape budburst-harvest timeframe

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jhdw

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Hi all,

I am growing a few grape varieties in Colorado (east of the Rockies), but have had a bit of a dilemma - the springs here are a bit weird. I have had Marquette and Leon Millot break bud on the same day, and both within a couple days of a Chambourcin vine (I have since removed the Chambourcin vine), all in early-mid May. It seems that where I grow, the length of time between budbreak and harvest is more important than when exactly those two things occur, though information on this is somewhat scarce. Usually the first fall frost is late September or early October (150-160 days later). I am hoping to test an additional variety to better balance the wine I am making, especially regarding tannin - Millot is a very low tannin grape when made into wine, and Marquette is only slightly better. The summers here are warm but not hot, and I usually get 2100-2500 growing degree days (fahrenheit).

Does anyone know how long the growth cycle of different varieties is, or what enough heat to ripen might be (or where I could find information about this)? I have been looking, for example, at Regent, Noiret, Crimson Pearl (albeit a bit harder to find where I am located), Chelois, and Chancellor (not sure of the tannin content on the last two). I could live with it not ripening on the worst years, since I have grapes that will ripen consistently already. I have done some research - but mostly found day-of-year, which is not helpful in my climate.
 

VinesnBines

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I’m growing Leon Millot, Marquette, Chambourcin, Chelois and Chancellor. We often suffer late frost/freezes from late April to mid May. As a result my Millot, Marquette and Chancellor are bitten back most years. I like Chelois and Chambourcin because they break late. Chambourcin does require longer GDD. Is that why you removed the vine? Chelois will break a little earlier than Chambourcin but tolerates the late frosts. It ripens earlier than Chambourcin but after Marquette. Chelois has a medium tannin structure. Chancellor has a weak tannin structure. You may never be satisfied with the tannin structure of French Am hybrids. They seem to have problems with tannin development during fermentation. You may need to add tannins- sacrificial at fermentation (oak in primary) or finishing tannins during aging. You can also try whole cluster fermentation to include some stems to extract more tannins.
Hope this helps.
 

jhdw

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That's good to know. Really I am hoping to have a tannin structure, and I would prefer to avoid adding tannin extract (powder) if I can - which I guess means the next best thing is oak if my grape experiments turn out unsuccessful.

I removed the Chambourcin due to disease and lack of vigor. The disease surprised me, since the area I am in is fairly dry and has low disease pressure. Whatever weather pattern causes the Millot and Marquette to break bud later seems to push them past most spring frosts - I had also tried Foch previously, but it kept getting winterkill (I suspect from spring cold snaps just prior bud break). The weather here is fairly bipolar - it can be as little as a couple weeks between a cold snap that dips below 20F and having 80F days with 50F nights. The winter minimum is rarely below -10F, however.
 

Rice_Guy

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A Midwest point of view; PetitePearl has nice tannin and is worth looking at. For this climate it is about two weeks behind Marquette. I am wondering about Verona and CrimsonPearl. They are new and I haven’t been tasting them either in the vinters club or at contest.

Welcome to wine Making Talk
 
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Agree with Rice. I'm in a warm spot in south central Montana, we seem to get about 2650 GDD (50f) between frosts. Last frost is about May 1, first frost is Sep 30-Oct 10 or so. I grow Marquette and Petite Pearl. Petite Pearl has a lot of different versions of ripeness, but the flavor and tannin are a lot better if you can get it ripe. My experience is that the "just right" GDD for my site with petite pearl is 2550, although it's "ripe enough" at 2300. My petite pearl right now is about 18 brix and I'm at about 2150 GDD right now. Too early.

Marquette is somewhat of a pain for ripeness. by the time it gets ripe, the pH gets too high. I like to take it at about 2250-2300 GDD for a red, which gets me about 24 brix.

This year I picked this weekend for a rose at 21 brix, pH 3.05
 
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Here is some info I have on ripening for a few varieties:

Growing Degree Days that correspond to 50% (GDD50) of harvest berry weights of common winegrape varieties*
VarietyGDD50
Chardonnay1,070
Pinot Noir1,140
Pinot Gris1,150
Cabernet Franc1,170
Marechal Foch1,180
Frontenac1,180
Vignoles1,180
Riesling1,190
Cabernet Sauvignon1,200
Concord1,210
Chardonel1,470
Pinot Blanc1,470
Traminette1,470
Seyval1,500
Merlot1,700
*GDD computed from April 1, with 50°F base temperature.
 

wood1954

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Agree with Rice. I'm in a warm spot in south central Montana, we seem to get about 2650 GDD (50f) between frosts. Last frost is about May 1, first frost is Sep 30-Oct 10 or so. I grow Marquette and Petite Pearl. Petite Pearl has a lot of different versions of ripeness, but the flavor and tannin are a lot better if you can get it ripe. My experience is that the "just right" GDD for my site with petite pearl is 2550, although it's "ripe enough" at 2300. My petite pearl right now is about 18 brix and I'm at about 2150 GDD right now. Too early.

Marquette is somewhat of a pain for ripeness. by the time it gets ripe, the pH gets too high. I like to take it at about 2250-2300 GDD for a red, which gets me about 24 brix.

This year I picked this weekend for a rose at 21 brix, pH 3.05
Wish I had your problem my grapes ph never gets too high.
 

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