Itasca

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KevinL

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So because I was negligent (Missed a few flowers when clipping), a few of my Itasca plantings this year ended up with mature fruit on them. I couldn't help myself once they got to a certain point and didn't clip them off. I just pulled them in today:

22 Degrees Brix
3.38 pH
7.8 g/L TA

Looks like I harvested a little late, but I wasn't exactly keeping an eye on these little clusters. I don't have enough to do anything with them this year so I'll have to wait until next.

I have one of my rows of Itasca going into Third leaf next year so I anticipate I'll get a modest crop to play with. I'm wondering if anyone else has any experience with Itasca. I want to be ready to handle them when they come in so I'm curious about what yeast to go with or whether or not to try MLF on them. Or whether or not to leave them on the skins for a bit. Cold soak or no? All kinds of thoughts.

Anyone else have Itasca planted or plan on buying Itasca Grapes?
IMG_0820.JPG
 

Stressbaby

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Itasca is on my short list of varieties to consider adding. Those numbers don't look bad at all!
Not sure why you would cold soak it. Cold settle maybe, as part of standard white wine process, and ferment really cool. Keep us posted...
 

KevinL

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Not sure why you would cold soak it.
I agree, but this is a new grape here, everything is on the table.

As far as Itasca in the vineyard, I've been very impressed with the vines resistances thus far. My Frontenac and Petite Pearl leaves are all balled up from Phylloxera. The Itasca vines do not have a single Phylloxera gall on their leaves. Plenty of vigor, but doesn't grow like a weed (looking at you Frontenac.) I've got them on a Top Wire cordon at 6' which they reached easily in year 2. My vineyard caught a bit of 2-4D from a nearby commercial property (I think) and even though a few vines around the Itasca are suffering, the Itasca themselves are perfectly healthy. I read a bit indicating they might perform well on VSP, but I'm a fan of lower maintenance stuff, and I don't intend to do an in-vineyard experiment on them. I figure the rest of the Minnesota Hybrids do fine on TWC, and Double A recommends TWC for them.

It might be because my local vermin are uneducated about the tastiness of white grapes, but the small clusters that appeared were completely unmolested by birds, raccoons, possums, chipmunks, mice or bugs(for the most part) even though I didn't make any effort to protect them. I've made 3 passes on them with fungicides, and they show no signs of any damage, even though I've got minor black rot on a few of my other varieties.

I'm really hoping that with the speed at which they ripen and their color that I won't even have to net them, and this would make them the lowest maintenance grapes in the vineyard.

I've got high hopes for it. We'll see how things turn out next year.
 

CK55

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I agree, but this is a new grape here, everything is on the table.

As far as Itasca in the vineyard, I've been very impressed with the vines resistances thus far. My Frontenac and Petite Pearl leaves are all balled up from Phylloxera. The Itasca vines do not have a single Phylloxera gall on their leaves. Plenty of vigor, but doesn't grow like a weed (looking at you Frontenac.) I've got them on a Top Wire cordon at 6' which they reached easily in year 2. My vineyard caught a bit of 2-4D from a nearby commercial property (I think) and even though a few vines around the Itasca are suffering, the Itasca themselves are perfectly healthy. I read a bit indicating they might perform well on VSP, but I'm a fan of lower maintenance stuff, and I don't intend to do an in-vineyard experiment on them. I figure the rest of the Minnesota Hybrids do fine on TWC, and Double A recommends TWC for them.

It might be because my local vermin are uneducated about the tastiness of white grapes, but the small clusters that appeared were completely unmolested by birds, raccoons, possums, chipmunks, mice or bugs(for the most part) even though I didn't make any effort to protect them. I've made 3 passes on them with fungicides, and they show no signs of any damage, even though I've got minor black rot on a few of my other varieties.

I'm really hoping that with the speed at which they ripen and their color that I won't even have to net them, and this would make them the lowest maintenance grapes in the vineyard.

I've got high hopes for it. We'll see how things turn out next year.
You are lucky thats not the phylloxera that can kill vines. All my vines are vinifera on rootstock. I should have any issues ever especially given that im 100% sure i dont have any here given ive got some vinifera thats 40 years old and on own roots.

Also I have VSP trellis systems for all my grapes. As long as your grapes like growing upright they will do well I had to adapt a different trellis for my Barbera and Nebbiolo cause they like to bush out more and dont grow as tall like other grapes.

My end posts are steel poles that are anchored at a 15 degree angle aka "Dead Mans Anchor"
its actually a rather expensive setup like 2.500$ for just the trellis materials and stuff. Plus i have a guy that actually comes by and sprays and manages the vineyard for me, I like to do it as well but he really helps.
 
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Masbustelo

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Kevin I was reading today that leaf Phylloxera left untreated will progressively get worse. I haven't seen any on my Petite Pearl, but last year I had it on my first year Verona. I cut the "bumps" off the leaves, or picked the bad leaves as they appeared, bagged them and threw them in the trash. I only had two infected leaves this year. I'm thinking maybe it can be defeated.
 

Newine

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So because I was negligent (Missed a few flowers when clipping), a few of my Itasca plantings this year ended up with mature fruit on them. I couldn't help myself once they got to a certain point and didn't clip them off. I just pulled them in today:

22 Degrees Brix
3.38 pH
7.8 g/L TA

Looks like I harvested a little late, but I wasn't exactly keeping an eye on these little clusters. I don't have enough to do anything with them this year so I'll have to wait until next.

I have one of my rows of Itasca going into Third leaf next year so I anticipate I'll get a modest crop to play with. I'm wondering if anyone else has any experience with Itasca. I want to be ready to handle them when they come in so I'm curious about what yeast to go with or whether or not to try MLF on them. Or whether or not to leave them on the skins for a bit. Cold soak or no? All kinds of thoughts.

Anyone else have Itasca planted or plan on buying Itasca Grapes?
View attachment 50591
Great numbers! Exactly why I decided to add them to the mix in my little vineyard next year, looks like I won't be dissapointed.
 

KevinL

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Kevin I was reading today that leaf Phylloxera left untreated will progressively get worse. I haven't seen any on my Petite Pearl, but last year I had it on my first year Verona. I cut the "bumps" off the leaves, or picked the bad leaves as they appeared, bagged them and threw them in the trash. I only had two infected leaves this year. I'm thinking maybe it can be defeated.
I've heard that is the best treatment, short of one of the insecticides that can kill phylloxera. I tried to do that this season, and found that I was unable to keep up. The other thing is that I have Riparia vines that grow all over the place and on the neighbor's property as well. The Riparia has the phylloxera galls and I'm thinking that I'll be fighting a losing battle trying to do things by hand. In the end I think I will end up rotating in a spray that can kill the phylloxera.
 

BRossi

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If you’re wondering about Itasca winemaking, I found this article and I thought it helpful. Itasca is so new, I’m not sure there’s much info about wines yet. MN Study on Itasca Wine
 

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