Mile High Grapes

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Junior Member
Jan 31, 2017
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Hello from Parker CO. New to the forum and the sport… Been making kit wine for a few years with limited success (success = wine you want to serve your sober friends) but now the wife has convinced me to try to grow some grapes. Been doing some reading here and there for the past year and made the plunge yesterday and ordered 54 vines (18 Marquette, 18 Geneva Red, and 18 Arandell) to plant this spring. Was excited to read about the success CowboyRam is having in WY so I’m hoping with your help I too may be able to stomp some grapes in a few years.
Welcome aboard!

I live down the road from you about 350 miles south. The one thing I have learned since planting at our altitude (I live at 6500ft) is that you really want to plant the latest bud breaking vine you can find that will withstand our Winters. I have Marquette, Noiret and Corot Noir. Marquette makes the best wine but since it breaks bud 2 weeks earlier than the rest of my vines it gets bit by a late frost about 2 out of 3 years. If you are in a cold air drainage area (where cold air settles in the early morning hours) you should put bud break at the top of your selection list. I am taking out most all of my Marquette this Spring and replacing it with Noiret which breaks bud 10-14 days later which most years means I will get a full crop. YMMV as they say!
Thanks Mike and Arne. I’m at about 6000ft and I believe our average last frost is about April 30th so I’m sure you are right. I’ve read where people put rocks in their vineyard to help retain heat so I’m thinking about that, I’m also going to have a sprinkler system.
Mike I think our climates are pretty similar so I’m sure I will have a lot of questions that you will be able to answer.
Thanks again, I’m really looking forward to spring this year.
I planted back in the Spring of 2010. Our average last frost date is ~May 7th. In 2014 we got down to 21F on May 14th and everything was not only in full bud break but some vines had started setting grapes already. It seems every year I am sweating bullets almost every morning in May!
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Hey Mike, I just read your entire 62 page thread on your wine garden. Great stuff in there! It was like I was reading some suspense novel, couldn’t wait to see how you made out in the spring or if the summer hail was going to get you and how your harvest would turn out. I had to smile when I saw the part about your daughter’s wedding, I think my wife and daughter have the same plan, I’m just not sure if my vineyard (currently dirt field) will be able to catch up to my daughters relationship. Thanks again, I’m even more excited for spring and to starting writing my own story.
Yea between the late Spring freezes and the Summer (monsoon) hail storms I am doing good to get a decent crop in any year!

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