Lydia’s Vineyard (CT)

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Wineisgud

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Hey all! Thanks for the welcome here in the introductions. I want to start this thread to document and learn from my newly planted mini vineyard. My first born daughter, Lydia, will be here in a couple weeks! I worked my tail off to put in this small vineyard before she arrives. I can’t wait to pick grapes with her in the future. I’m hoping since my hop bines grew very well on my property last year my grapevines will enjoy their new home as well. I planted 4 24 foot rows of 16 vines. After research and some emailing with the knowledgeable Steve from CTGrapes.org I went with Double A vineyards in NY and these cultivars:
1st row (lower)- 4 Marechal Foch
2nd - 4 Marquette
3rd - 4 Corot Noir
4th - 4 Cab franc
All will be VSP cane pruned. Waiting for my grow tubes from orchard valley supply. Will be putting up all the trellis wire shortly. Here it is in all its glory in this mornings sunrise!
D7CDBBBB-1069-4CED-899E-FBD6837F3786.jpeg
 

Cynewulf

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Congrats and welcome again! It looks like you’re off to a good start. I have both Marquette and Cab Franc in my vineyard in Virginia. The Marquette is a lot easier though I reckon the Cab Franc will make a better wine if I can ever get the diseases under control. Good luck and get your spray protocols dialed in!
 

CTDrew

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Looks like a nice layout. I have Marquette too but TWC and it does well for me. I had too much winter kill in cab franc and have replaced those with Arandell. Best of luck with the new vineyard this season.
 

Rice_Guy

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welcome to WMT.

As @Cynewulf noted get your spray schedule planned, humidity and vinifera grapes don’t mix well. There are quite a few threads about diseases here.
I have twice the number you have and didn’t know diseases when I had one concord and one edelweiss, and still didn’t on year one and two, but the third year was the start of Japanese beetles and black rot.
 

Wineisgud

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Yeah that’s one major thing I haven’t done much research on yet is the chemicals. There are so many different chemicals its overwhelming haha. I only used neem oil/murphy’s oil soap for the hops and that worked for insects except for the Japanese beetles. I will be getting milky spore down this year to fight those buggers. There are much more diseases and pests that affect grapevines so I understand remaining organic can be difficult. @Cynewulf @Rice_Guy Any product suggestions? @CTDrew I knew it was a risk going with cab franc and I’m sure you did too. I’m hoping doing canes over cordons and burying the graft over winter will help keep them alive. I actually placed them in the back row for aesthetic reasons in case they didn’t make it haha
 

Cynewulf

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Every region is going to be a little different so I’d check with growers near you or as close as you can find. I spray with mancozeb, sulfur, and bacillus thuringiensis (BT, for caterpillars) early in the season, then switch to Captan, immunox, and sulfur later. The hybrids won’t need as many sprays but the Cab Franc will need a good preventative spray program. I think going organic is nearly impossible with vinifera on the East coast. I’ve heard black rot referred to as our Achilles’ heel in that regard.
 
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Phil

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Hello everyone
I am new here on this site and I just want to said hi to all the winemakers out there’s.the one who love and have passion about making wine and grow a vineyard
I myself decide to plant about 300 vines all Rhône varieties
I order mostly from Novavine but few from Harvest Express
Does anyone has ordered grapes from Harvest Express before and have you had any issues
Thanks again
 

Wineisgud

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@Cynewulf Awesome thank you, yeah I’m hoping to strike up conversations at the local vineyards. I put down a first round of milky spore around the property. I’m not looking to grow the wine grapes organically. I want the healthiest looking hedge rows possible. The Suffolk red grapevine planted in a different area will be my organic study.

@Phil hey Phil welcome to the forum. I’m sure there are lots of quality southern California based suppliers available to you. I’m in the northeast so I can’t help you there but maybe somewhere on the forum you can find the answers you need. Lots of growers in Cali on this site I’m sure. I envy your ability to grow Rhône varieties!
 

Wineisgud

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To anyone reading this that is a novice like me that wants to get a better understanding of all things grape growing and to plant some vines on your property this is one of the best resources I’ve found. Tom on youtube


It was like I took a paid course for free. They are numbered and ordered to skip to the lessons you are looking for. I can’t thank him enough for his thorough detailed coverage of everything.
 

Rice_Guy

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my first year I tried milky spore, that was the two year period with naked plants, ,,, ie it didn’t work. At home I am organic which means that I walk around plants with an organic something jar and catch them then give em to the neighbor chickens after 11 seconds of microwaving. I use sevin for JB where the vines live. if you search JB in the menu you can get more answers which tend towards chemicals.
Black rot (again lots of answers/ photos from past years) is a mixture, some sulphur, some benolate (an old chemical) and some saying a variety is not adapted to a small grower (Frontenac) so I remove the problem with a loping shears. I have some self seed/ compost pile I am reproducing which will fill in holes this year. I like Millot, Briana, Marquette, all labrusca. I dislike Frontenac, Itasca and so so on Petite Pearl so far. My feel is variety can minimize the problem but nurseries selling aren’t selecting for resistance. (maybe in a few years Novia Rojo from the compost pile will be released) (in thread starting cuttings yesterday)

for the Japanese beetles. I will be getting milky spore down this year to fight those buggers. There are much more diseases and pests that affect grapevines so I understand remaining organic can be difficult. . . Any product suggestions?
 

CTDrew

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Pyganic will do a great job for you on all beetles and it’s all I have used the past few years due to the residual action. Carbyryl will give a quick kill down but no residual protection. My experience is that fungicide application is more important in our area. Things to think about when planning out a program are using products with different FRAC codes on each spray as rotating the active ingredient prevents resistance. Also, put some systemic products on early to front load the fungicide - preventing a problem is easier than curing one. Also getting good coverage from your sprayer. CAES maintains study vineyards in Windsor and Hamden at the Ag Stations. The grape team is a wealth of good advice on our area.
 

Wineisgud

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@Rice_Guy Yeah JB are serious eaters. I did a ton of crushing last year on the hops. It was like a beetle graveyard out there lol. I’m not sure if the milky spore will work but I’m willing to try building the spores in my soil now than later. As they eat the spores they multiply it in your soil as they die. So with time the treatments may show you better results. No doubt I’ll still be out there crushing and treating for them.

Rotating treatments to prevent resistance makes a lot of sense. I do have several good pump sprayers I might have to get a few more so I can rotate with ease. Also awesome intel on a good local source of info @CTDrew thank you!
 

Snafflebit

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To anyone reading this that is a novice like me that wants to get a better understanding of all things grape growing and to plant some vines on your property this is one of the best resources I’ve found. Tom on youtube


It was like I took a paid course for free. They are numbered and ordered to skip to the lessons you are looking for. I can’t thank him enough for his thorough detailed coverage of everything.
I totally agree these videos are excellent especially for the east coast growers
 

Wineisgud

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Hey guys so I put the first fruiting wire on as well as grow tubes. I had to dig out and replant one of my cab franc vines because I set the graft too high. It’s supposed to be around 2” from the soil so it can be buried in winter. They are all about 2-3” so I think I’m ok.

One issue I have that I could use some help with is I did not prune anything from what I received of bare root plants. I did trim a little extra long roots but nothing else. Here is an shot of the pamphlet provided from double A.
0D9AEA5F-9042-4C36-B56C-8B3E16D8238B.jpeg
Here’s where I need some help. Should I go into the grow tubes now and prune them down to 3 buds? The buds are swelling up. I am worried about disturbing the plants. Is it too late in the season to do this? If so should I open the grow tubes and prune mid summer and choose the strongest shoot as my trunk and leave a couple renewal shoots?
 

Cynewulf

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When the buds are swelling is a good time to prune as you know which are viable. I’d prune back to 2-3 buds now and let the vine focus all its energy into those few shoots for the whole season rather than a bunch of weaker growth.
 

CTDrew

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I wouldn’t prune newly planted vines this season. Get all the growth you can this year. You want to build your roots up. Get the grow tubes off by Labor Day so they have time to acclimate to the cooler weather before frost. For what it’s worth, I never bother with grow tubes and they turn out just fine.
 

Cynewulf

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I’ll defer to @CTDrew , especially as he’s familiar with your area. I’ve done both and seen varying results from each approach, even between vines of the same variety right next to one another. However, I reckon we also have a few more growing degree days down here in Virginia so I’d stick with the best practices for your region.
 

Wineisgud

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It might snow Friday😩...
Yeah I chose to go with the grow tubes to protect it from any wildlife being close to woody area.
In Toms videos on YouTube a tube experiment showed that grow tubes make for aesthetically pleasing straight trunk growth reaching the fruiting wire and beyond. Those not in tubes were bushy and low but more robust looking by the 2nd year comparatively. By year 3 it was indistinguishable.
I plan on leaving them alone for now to promote root establishment. But since I’m in grow tubes unlike @CTDrew I’m wondering if this will lead to some crowding in the tube and thinning needed. I’m starting to think grow tubes are designed to accommodate only a few shoots.
 

CTDrew

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@Wineisgud I undrstand why you chose the grow tubes with the wildlife issue. I believe they will get you some protection there. From commercial growers I have chatted with in the area that use tubes, they just let them grow in the tube without doing to much to them, but they get the tube off by September so the vines have time to harden off. I think that is the approach to take. You can sort through any extra growth when you prune next spring. The goal is building roots in the first year, you can work into training in year 2.
 

Ct Winemaker

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Hello Wineisgud. We are also in CT (Windham County). We planted a small vineyard (May 2019) that will be into it's 3rd season this year, so plan to harvest fruit. We have 117 vines (Marquette, St. Vincent, Chardonnel) split evenly. We will be adding 50 St. Croix this year (double A shipping for May 15th). We planted the vines May 2019, last year we let one St. Vincent fruit out last year (actually reduced some fruit), and got more than 15lbs from the one vine that produced 1-1/2 gallons of wine! We used grow the blue grow tube, have full automatic watering, had the soil tested and we adjusted accordingly, and followed Double A instructions for pruning all the way (top wire cordon), except, we did not prune back the vines when we planted. We did reduce the roots when they were "extreme" but most vines were planted as we received them. We just let them grow out the first year. Most made it to the top wire, so we trained what we could into one/ two cordons.

In regards to spraying, this was (and I think usually is) a big question for new vintners. We are certainly not experts, and strongly suggest that you listen to what others, and particularly CT Drew says, but I will layout what we are doing since it may be helpful to get you started and is working very well for us:

Mancozeb for all mildew except powder mildew (may help powder mildew a little), about every 10 days and after heavy rain, up to 66 days before harvest (not a problem if no harvest). Mix 1-1/2 tablespoons per gallon.

Sulphur for powder mildew but do not use on Marquette. Same schedule as Mancozeb.

Captan after Mancozeb (OK within 66 days of harvest). Same issues - doesn't work for powdery mildew.

Insecticide - I use Seven tank mixed with the Mancozeb and or Captan (added right to the tank of Mancozeb, etc). Did a great job on japanese beetles and all other pests.

The attached pictures are the harvest from one ST. Vincent vine in it's second year (planted May 2019, this pic fall of 2020).


St. Vincent Grapes 2020.jpg St. Vincent vine 2020.jpg
 
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