Growing grapes questions.

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Oct 23, 2006
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Ok, i plan on learning how to make wine eventually but first i need to grow some grapes. A guy i work with is going to let me get some cuttings from a vine he has on his property, but he knows nothing about growing grapes either. The story goes that the previous owner was an italian imegrant named marcelletti, and he brought the vine with him from the old world eons ago.


1. I live in michigan. When is the best time to go cut the vine?

2. How do i get the cuttings to grow into a viable plant?

3. When do i plant them in the ground?

4. Im planning on using my chainlink fence as a trellus, will that work? Also how many plants should i start along a 40'-50' stretch.

5. Given optimal conditions, will 40'-50' of grape vines produce enough grapes to make a batch of wine?

You guys have a great looking site, hope it takes off.

Thanks in advance,


Hi Grey,

Where are you at in Michigan? I'm currently working at a large wine making facility in Oregon, but I hail from the Chicagoland area. Do you live close enough to a lake to benefit from the heat effect? Most grape varietals that will grow in the upper mid-west will not produce fruit with a high enough sugar content to make a viable wine. I know some Michigan Chardonnay is grown very near the lake since it doesn't freeze as badly as more inland areas. Once you get 20+ Miles away from lake Michigan you get that lovely hard freeze that we all know and love. Vinifera varietals tend to die from the freeze. I've had plenty of examples of hybrid varietals, but they just don't normally have the taste or structure that you can get in a better climate. I'm not sure about the botany end of things as far as planting and cutting, but 40-50' of grapes would make a batch of wine depending on the grape size and how/if you cut them back. Riesling are very small grapes, and they make significantly less wine per acre than say Sylvaner.

Good Luck!