Hello from Missouri

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Aug 10, 2009
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Hey everyone. New here. Love the site. Been reading a lot. Got lots of questions. Starting a new vineyard. Will need help all along the way. Thanks Galen
Hello Galen and welcome.

how big will your vineyard be?

Hi. I'm new to this site too Galen. I look forward to hearing about your vineyard.
When you select the vines ask around and see what grows best in your area. I have found that the local wineries give the best help.
Welcome aboard. Glad to have you here. When I saw your area the first thing I though was Norton/Cynthiana grapes. I don't know what part of Mo. you are from but if the southern part, Norton's do well there and make a fantastic wine. I am originally from the St Louis area. Look forward to your posts.
What part of the state are you from? What USDA Hardiness zone are you in there? What types of wine do you like or make?

Sorry for the questions- but we need to know a bit more to help more.

Also what is your soil type, pH, etc.
As far as vineyards go grapeman and Sacalait are probably the most knowledgable. Glad to have you here and we are happy to answer any and all questions.
Glad to have you aboard. What part of the state are you from? I'm just south K.C. If you're planning a commercial operation, be sure to post when you're open and I'll stop by.
In that zone, you are open to all sorts of great hybrids. I believe there is a lot of Chardonel grown there. I have some of them and they make an excellent white wine and are very easy to work with. I almost lost the vines this last winter as temps got to -22F two days in a row. They have regrown well this eyar and currently fill the trellis, but no fuit to speak of. I hope this winter is kinder. You can also grow Traminette, LaCrescent, St. Pepin, Brianna, Vignoles, Cayuga and a whole lot more whites. For reds, the newer Cornell varieties will do well -Corot Noir and Noiret. Marquette is new but many are betting the farm on this one.

Do some reading on those varieties and try to find some samples of them to try.
Man, am I the only one that likes Norton's? I have tasted some fantastic Norton wines. Seriously though, it all depends on your area and what will thrive and survive. Are there many growers of Cab Franc in Mo.? I don't remember ever having a Cab Franc wine in Mo. but have had many a Norton. I grew up outside St Louis and was all over South Missouri until I moved here 10 years ago. Sounds like the original poster may have more options. Always nice to have a variety choice.
Norton Glut

There are 60 tons of Norton on the open market for sale in and around Missouri. There are 0 tons of Cab Franc on the market for sale. If Norton was so good of wine, then there would not be a glut. Go figure.
There are 60 tons of Norton on the open market for sale in and around Missouri. There are 0 tons of Cab Franc on the market for sale. If Norton was so good of wine, then there would not be a glut. Go figure.

I very much doubt that is the reason. There may be 10 times or 100 times more Norton grapes grown than Cab Franc in Missouri. If it was such a poor product there wouldn't be any market and they wouldn't be grown at all on a commercial basis. I guess that is why there are a glut of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot, etc glut on the market right now. They are inferior grapes? It's a crap grape market right now. There is much discussion in the industry and hobby about this right now. You are a commercial grower. I am sure you know this.

I have had really good Cab Franc wines as well as I have had really good Norton/Cynthiana wines. I don't feel one grape is superior over the other. Your region dictates what you can grow successfully. If Cab Franc grows well where they reside, by all means grow them. Do your research and don't "try" to make something work that won't be profitable. We have a local vineyard and winery here that tried that. They lost their shirts. Go with what grows well and assess if there is a viable market for the end product where you live. Where I live the local wines of Muscadine and fruit/country wines do not sell well at all. They sit on the shelf covered with dust.
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I don't want to debate the difference between Cab Franc and Norton, it would be silly. It would be like debating the difference between the NBA and college hoops. I do find it interesting that there is such a big glut of Norton on the market around here. Especially I saw some of the bigger players selling as much as 20 tons. I am not sure how to read this over supply picture. I have been contacted by a few growers desperately wanting to sell Norton grapes to our winery....very interesting.
i would say, norton, traminette, vignoles and chardonel make great wines.

i have been to all of the Augusta and Hermann based wineries. Almost all of them make those wines. Not many do a great job at it though.

if norton is overabundant, buy cheap! Just don't over oak it like some people do!
From a winemaking standpoint, especially folks just getting used to making wine, the high TA situation with Norton is difficult. Not only do you have higher acid, but also high PH. You have to employ a couple of different strategies, 1) Blend with lower TA wine 2) employ de-acid treatments like doulbe salt.

I think under no circumstances should a new winemaker start with Norton. Instead get down the basics with some grapes like Chardonel or Vidal.

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