NY what to grow?

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Papa Giorgio

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Hello all,

I'm very new to winemaking. Something that is of interest to me is growing my own grapes. I just wanted to try and see where it would go and was wondering the best steps to take? I'm here in NY so I was looking for a grape varietal that was user friendly to say the least. At the moment I would just like to plant some and see where it goes. This is a huge jump from the winemaking I am doing now but I figured, heck the worst thing that happens is you make a mistake. So if anyone can offer insight as to how they start it would be great. Do you take soil samples or prep the soil in any particular way? Where could you even buy a vine? About how many years until you can really use something? Just looking to humbly gather a bit of information here. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

sour_grapes

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Welcome to WMT!

Where in NY are you located? Near any of the established grape-growing regions?
 

efBobby

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There are many cultivars suited for your environment.

Before making any type of recommendation where about in NY are you?

I know the climate can differ greatly in the state based on location.

Any particular type of wine you enjoy more than the others?

Granted it was a lot easier for me....in central va I literally had bunch grapes growing 3 feet from my driveway but one thing I did to get my feet wet was to locate, move and trellis up some native vines.

It was really helpful bc I got a feel for cultivation and more importantly the pest! Without needlessly wasting money on a bunch of vines that would have most likely perished.

The native vines also provided a source of cuttings to practice propagation with as well.
 

Papa Giorgio

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Hi all thank you for the replies!

I am located on Long Island and I am open to growing anything red. I just want to sort of go through the process with a bit of success. Are there any red grapes that are significantly easier to grow than others? I can def. check out that vineyard upstate and see what I can buy to give me a start so thanks for that info. Also, Typically, how long after you plant can you yield usable fruit? I'd imagine it would depend on how mature the vine is. Thanks again everyone for the support.
 

sour_grapes

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North Fork is known for their Cab Franc. Franc is a bit easier to grow in cold/short growing seasons compared to Sauvignon. However, in such conditions, it tends to give off a lot of pyrazine (i.e., green pepper, vegetal aroma). This is generally considered a wine flaw, but personally I think it is a marker of local conditions, i.e., I chalk it up to terroir.
 

efBobby

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Hmm.....in regards to reds.

Do you prefer sweeter reds with an emphasis on the flavoring?

Or an emphasis on body and the signature astringency that can generally only come from reds.

For starters Are you wanting something that ages well(trade off being you will have to wait longer to enjoy them since typically they aren't as good young)?

Something that is reaching its potential earlier(again trade off there is aging doesn't really help it or it may degrade over time)?

Full disclosure I am not a connesseur by any means and prefer sweet and semi-sweet whites. I have not produced any wine yet. Like you last year I was completely cold and spent the last year practicing with one goal to be good at propagation and cultivation.

I feel I am nearly there in regards to propagation only needing to work on my greenwood strategies but I believe I will get there early this year when I have some greenwood to practice with.

That being said I have learned a lot in my opinion. This year I am focusing on cultivation in regards to keeping my vines alive long enough to produce fruit which then would transition into turning them into symbols of perfection coveted by every bug in the south! Lol!

I hope to achieve this goal this year so by the following year I will try my hand at actual wine making. The natives will produce year after this one and the cultivars 2 years from now.

I'm taking it slow. Also working with the natives does give me an appreciation for them and I am also in the process of launching a conservation and restoration project I hope to launch this year!

My ultimate goal is to restore native grape populations to counties where the species as a whole has been reported as extirpated. To me that will be the pinnacle achievement.

Anyway back on subject: without knowing your specific wine preferences and shifting emphasis toward a really hardy red variety I would say go with cynthiana aka Norton.

There is a reason this cv has stood the test of time over 200 years later and still sells out.

Pros:

Cheaper to maintain

Less if any spraying(will have to defer to a cynthiana grower in regards to its susceptibility to fungus and mildew) but I do know it is highly resistant to most if not all pest.

No need for root stock just grow them on their own roots

Cynthiana definitely has a fan base since it is the state grape of Missouri so I presume it makes a good red!

Definitely a good "starter vine" and should you get tired of it you will have no problems getting rid of it since it's one flaw would play into your favor

Appreciates in value supply/demand but I'm willing to speculate if you grew cynthiana out long enough to produce grapes you'd have NO PROBLEM getting your investment back and then some!

Cons


Only flaw I know of can also be a virtue which is it doesn't propagate well from dormant wood...like 5% strike rate and that's generous! Lol

This doesn't really affect your backyard grower much but if you wanted to plant a vineyard it makes the startup more costly!

Lastly to answer you other question typically it takes 3 years to get a fruiting vine from a new one purchased unless you buy an aged one.

I think double a may give options for older vines and sometimes normal vendors offer 2 year vines. Double a might be the place I seen that offers 10 year vines but they gonna cost ya trade off being you'll have some fruit at the end of the season and the vine should be at capacity by the following season.

Just to be clear the terms fruiting and capacity are entirely different. Fruiting simply means you have grapes and capacity means the vine is producing the maximum amount of recommended bunches for you.
 

efBobby

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One more thing that I wish I did was learn more about insect predators.

First year I killed lacewings, assassin bugs and prob a couple others!

Just a month ago I seen a small red bug resembling a very tiny spider but with really round and enlarged abdomen and killed quite a few of them.......a few days ago I learned their actual identity was p.persimilis or red predatory mite, argh!

Turns out spider mite's abdomens are the same size as the rest of their bodies.

But that's my getting started tip. lol.

Another way to help is observe the targets behavior; for example if it isn't moving but it standing tall(aka face/eyes up); its most likely a predator either waiting,looking or hopefully stalking!

In contrast a pest if it isn't moving it will most likely not be standing tall(aka face/eyes down); its face is down bc it is most likely feeding or worse if abdomen is down its preparing to lay eggs but I don't think I have ever seen it.

I presume all the terrestrial pest lay eggs and mate at night. Exception Japanese beetles but they are not terrestrial!

Edit: there may be an exception here and there such as if a predator is looking for or eating eggs but I also want to include antannae as well.

It seems from observations most of the pest have very short or no antannae whereas your predators will have very long antannae in contrast.

If ya think about it then it makes sense; why would they need long antennae, plants don't move! Lol!
 
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salcoco

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you can buy 2 yr plants form Double a but it will still be three years from planting before you can get a meager crop. full crop will be at 5 years. it will take 12-15 lbs of grapes for one gallon of wine. good production will give you one gallon per plant. I would access WineMaker Magazine web site I believe they have a book available for starting vineyard you might want to obtain. follow on questions that need answering are row spacing, spacing between plants, spray schedule, use of grow tubes. trellising system etc.
 

VinesnBines

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Look at Marquette, Landon Noir, Baco Noir, Leon Millet, Marchael Foch, Chelois, or Chambourcin. All are red hybrids with good cold hardiness and good disease resistance. Marquette is the most resistant and makes really great wine, I hear (I’m planting in early May). If you want easy forget the Cabs or any vinifera (European) grapes. In the East the diseases require constant spraying. Do some reading; Double A has a lot of great info as well. Norton is a choice but it requires a longer period to ripen and I’m not sure about your growing season. Also Norton is an acquired taste. If you have never tasted, you may not want to bother. It is not as complicated as it sounds. You won’t have grapes of any quantity for 3 years so time to learn to make wine. Good luck! It is tremendous fun but work!
Check out Grapes of the Hudson Valley by Steve Casscels. Best guide to NY grapes.
 

Dennis Griffith

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Double A has a number of resources available online to help in all aspects of growing your own vines. And you can ask questions through their online chat feature, if you need assistance. Since they are in NY, they should be a valuable resource to help you through all the steps in growing your own. Of course, you can turn to the sage advice given here as well.
 

grapeman

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You will have a number of options being on Long Island. Double A Vineyards is a good source of vines but be sure to give them a call and ask for recommendations specifically for you there. A few years ago now Cornell released its first graduate of its no spray breeding program called Arandell. I am in extreme northern NY not far from the Canadian border and actually got a pretty fair yield of it this year. I am liking the young wine already produced from it and would expect it to do very well for you there. The hybrids listed above will all produce but may not give you the quality you want. Watch out for Marquette there on Long Island. It is being widely planted all around now and does make a good wine, but is still susceptible to quite a few diseases and serious bird predation can occur. Alice Wise at the Long Island Research Center grow it in their trial vineyard and it ripens very early compared to other varieties so is especially attractive to birds and netting will be mandatory to save some grapes.
 

Papa Giorgio

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Thanks everyone for all of the replies! Just sent double a an email and will follow up to see what they say. Hopefully I can get something in the ground soon. Especially since I’ll be waiting around a few years for som decent grapes! A wealth of knowledge from everyone. Much appreciated again.
 
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Bad thing is aa vineyards seems to be out of stock on alot of their plants... or atleast alot of the varieties I was looking for...
 

Papa Giorgio

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So leaning towards Cab franc. Landot Noir as of now just based on AA availability and ease of growing. Though it seems cab franc is slightly more susceptible to disease. Anyone have any experience with either? Don't think I have ever tasted a Landot Noir...

As always all help appreciated.
 

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