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It is not about world class results.

It is rather about the issue that any varietal wine has environmental requirements it needs to express that varietal (i.e its Terroir). Even on a basic level. And especially for Terroir sensitive varietals (some varietals are more forgiving then Riesling).

So you can plant, for example, Riesling in a sandy loam, but it may not best express the Riesling varietal characteristics in the resulting wine. And if you are planting Riesling because you like all the varietal characteristics of Riesling, and you don't end up getting "Riesling wine" because it was planted outside its ideal Terroir, then why did you then plant Riesling?

I hope that make sense.
Completely, and you make a great point.

My research into Riesling was one of the reasons I chose it. It likes sandy loam, which drains well. It likes high diurnal climates, where it can ripen during our warm days and preserve acidity at night. It likes blue slate, which I have a bit of in my soil. It likes the mildly acidic soil that I’ve found I have.

So while I understand your advice, I don’t think I’m crazy to think I might be in a decent place for Riesling. Am I missing something?
 

balatonwine

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For Riesling, to get the highly aromatic characteristic this varietal can create, a silt or loess soil is better. A sand loam under silt is good, but a sandy loam alone is difficult, because it may not be 'quite right'. Because the amount of sand is really important. And it may not have "enough" sand to keep the soil poor enough to express the varietal characteristics of Riesling.

See:

https://drinkriesling.com/regions/washington

And:

https://winefolly.com/review/introduction-soil-types-wine/

Now, do be aware, this is just my opinion at a forum. You may have a sweet spot and create some of the best Riesling in North America. Or even a very good Riesling. Or, maybe something that is not really a Riesling at all. That is the problem. You are risking a lot with this experiment. But if you are young enough, if not happy with your Riesling results, in 10 years, just replant (or maybe better to just regraft). That is, while I have significant doubts..... I may be wrong. So don't want to dissuade you if you really want to plant Riesling. :)
 
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montanarick

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Hey BitterrootGirls - how are your cab franc and Riesling vines doing? How old are they?

I'm up in Flathead and have been growing Marquette, Frontenacs and Petite Pearl but would love to get into some vinifera if i thought they might survive

ciao
 
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Now, do be aware, this is just my opinion at a forum. You may have a sweet spot and create some of the best Riesling in North America. Or even a very good Riesling. Or, maybe something that is not really a Riesling at all. That is the problem. You are risking a lot with this experiment. But if you are young enough, if not happy with your Riesling results, in 10 years, just replant (or maybe better to just regraft). That is, while I have significant doubts..... I may be wrong. So don't want to dissuade you if you really want to plant Riesling. :)
I'm risking a lot with all of this! haha. And if I planted the easiest grapevines to grow here, I'd be taking a risk that I might have grapes that make wines I don't even care to drink.

My soils are over 50% sand and right around 25% silt. We'll see how it works out. I'm young enough that I don't mind the risk, and I'm excited to see what happens. Even if I learn it was all a crazy idea. :)
 
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Hey BitterrootGirls - how are your cab franc and Riesling vines doing? How old are they?

I'm up in Flathead and have been growing Marquette, Frontenacs and Petite Pearl but would love to get into some vinifera if i thought they might survive

ciao
Montanarick, I'm planting for the first time this spring, so I'll let you know how it goes, but my response will take years! I'm pretty sure there are Flathead vineyards with vinifera. I thought I drove past one on Finley Point, but I think there are at least a few, some producing wine maybe?

Also, this guy in Missoula has been successful with some vinifera, with some die off from year to year. It's a great read! https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/missoula-vinyard.19860/
 

gordonm

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I live in Maine and have good luck with St. Pipen, Lacrosse, and Frontenac blanc. Put in some Marquette last spring when my wife got on my case about not having any reds so I'm not sure how they will make out. Terroir was a consideration for me since my soils are clayish and a little high in acid, not really good for grapes. Wish I had your sandy loam. One note, if you try St. Pipen make sure you have a cross pollinator such as Lacrosse. good luck! this site will help you
 
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One note, if you try St. Pipen make sure you have a cross pollinator such as Lacrosse. good luck! this site will help you
Thanks, gordonm! And I didn't know St. Pepin needs a cross pollinator, so I appreciate the info. Good luck with your red!
 

montanarick

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Montanarick, I'm planting for the first time this spring, so I'll let you know how it goes, but my response will take years! I'm pretty sure there are Flathead vineyards with vinifera. I thought I drove past one on Finley Point, but I think there are at least a few, some producing wine maybe?

Also, this guy in Missoula has been successful with some vinifera, with some die off from year to year. It's a great read! https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/missoula-vinyard.19860/
Thanks - keep me posted on how things are going
 
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Thanks - keep me posted on how things are going
I just bought my first grapevines ever! I’m excited and terrified and cautiously optimistic. I had to say it somewhere. Once I plant I’ll probably start a growing thread, but part of my spring order is paid for! Vignoles, Vidal Blanc, Cab Franc, and Riesling so far. :)

Eeeeeeeh! So excited!!
 

montanarick

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I just bought my first grapevines ever! I’m excited and terrified and cautiously optimistic. I had to say it somewhere. Once I plant I’ll probably start a growing thread, but part of my spring order is paid for! Vignoles, Vidal Blanc, Cab Franc, and Riesling so far. :)

Eeeeeeeh! So excited!!
Know exactly how you feel. i'm the same way every winter - can't wait for things to warm up and watch my vines bud out!
 
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