One month progress - doing ok so far?

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I'm the type of baker that watches my sourdough bake to make sure I'm not surprised by how much it rises, and so I can cheer it on. This is my first year with the vineyard, so I'm doing the same thing, but don't know how quickly bare root vines break bud, leaf, have a noticeable stalk, pass the vine shelter, etc. I'd love some feedback. Are these babies doing ok? They've been in the ground 35 days, and they were so dormant when I got them I couldn't tell if they even all had buds on them. Most of them look like what these pictures show. A few are ahead, a few behind, a very few haven't broken bud but have green buds on them, and a very very few show no visible buds, though I haven't checked the wood to see if it's still green (still hoping!).

I mostly have vinifera, though I've got a few hybrid plants. Progress on all of my vines does not seem to be different between varietals at this point.

Thanks for any feedback!
 

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Masbustelo

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I have no experience with your varities, and know nothing of your climate etc. But the pictures show healthy growth. Be sure you use some kind of a spray regimen. Do you need to irrigate or is there enough natural rainfall?
 
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I have no experience with your varities, and know nothing of your climate etc. But the pictures show healthy growth. Be sure you use some kind of a spray regimen. Do you need to irrigate or is there enough natural rainfall?
Thanks! I did just want to know if they’re growing at a healthy rate, so I appreciate your comment.

I’ll look into a spray regimen, but I know from talking to the extension office (non-grape specific, but for berries) that we don’t have a lot of disease pressure here. But I certainly don’t want to be neglectful if there’s something I should be on top of, so I’ll talk to them more this week.

Irrigation is an interesting question here. For sure first year plants need water, and since we haven’t tapped into the irrigation ditch yet, I’m garden hosing it from the well when it doesn’t rain, making sure the soil below the surface is staying moist. Hopefully we’ll get irrigation in sometime this summer. I do know other vineyards in Montana with the same rainfall as here (12 inches/yr) that have successfully experimented with no irrigation on 2+ year vines.

Do you irrigate? How much rain do you get?
 

Masbustelo

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In Northern Illinois, forty plus inches of rain. No water issues here. I've never worked with drip irrigation in my life and have gardened for forty years. Our problems have to do with excess vigor and excess vegetation, plus disease pressure from rain and humidity, but we grow different varieties than you. Non vinifera grapes.
 

balatonwine

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Irrigation is an interesting question here. For sure first year plants need water, and since we haven’t tapped into the irrigation ditch yet, I
Never irrigate myself. It is actually against local rules to irrigate the vineyards.

But I also plant new vines in the late fall, so the vines roots can "settle" into the soil and draw on the winter rain and snow moisture. Spring planting new vines is not really ideal without irrigation.
 
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IMHO, they don't have as much growth as I would expect of a newly planted vine by mid-June.
Keeping in mind that I didn't plant these dormant vines until May, what would you expect the vine to look like? What has been your experience (though I imagine it's probably quite different if you're planting in the fall)?
 

balatonwine

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Keeping in mind that I didn't plant these dormant vines until May, what would you expect the vine to look like? What has been your experience (though I imagine it's probably quite different if you're planting in the fall)?
To be honest, I have never planted grafted vines in May. IMHO, that is too late.

But I have planted root American root stock in May for propagation and later grafting. The root stock had no roots, just stems stuck in the ground. And they had a lot of irrigation and TLC, and looked about the same as your vines do by now. But I have vineyards in a very old wine region, with ideal wine growing weather, and that matters.

So, basically, I still think your vines are a bit "slow" and behind ideal growth for wine making. What that means is they may take a few years more before they produce a reasonable harvest. And you are growing many Vinifera varieties that are not really fully ideal for your climate (cross reference Terroir). So you may have some problems with getting ideal Brix levels to harvest each and every year (at least till global warming moves north). For example, for now, I would not expect your Pinot Noir to be ideal beyond a Rosé (but there is nothing wrong about a decent Rosé). It may simply never ripen to an ideal red wine quality. Just my opinion.
 
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To be honest, I have never planted grafted vines in May. IMHO, that is too late.

But I have planted root American root stock in May for propagation and later grafting. The root stock had no roots, just stems stuck in the ground. And they had a lot of irrigation and TLC, and looked about the same as your vines do by now. But I have vineyards in a very old wine region, with ideal wine growing weather, and that matters.

So, basically, I still think your vines are a bit "slow" and behind ideal growth for wine making. What that means is they may take a few years more before they produce a reasonable harvest. And you are growing many Vinifera varieties that are not really fully ideal for your climate (cross reference Terroir). So you may have some problems with getting ideal Brix levels to harvest each and every year (at least till global warming moves north). For example, for now, I would not expect your Pinot Noir to be ideal beyond a Rosé (but there is nothing wrong about a decent Rosé). It may simply never ripen to an ideal red wine quality. Just my opinion.
Thanks for your thoughts. I'll keep an eye on their overall growth throughout the season before I plan my purchase for next spring (as I'm planting more then). And I am going into this with both eyes open, knowing it's all a grand experiment. The majority of my vines are white, which I hope will do well, but if all I get from my red are delicious Rosés, I won't complain. :)
 

Ct Winemaker

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D3AF941A-A7A3-4CA4-AFAE-31786E9132A5.jpeg For reference, and this is our first attempt at a vineyard, we planted on May 16th (one month ago). The self rooted plants (Double A, 1x) are at the top of the 30 inch grow tubes (St Vincent, Marquette). The graphted vines are about 1/3 to 1/2 of that (about 10 - 15 inches, Chardonel). We did install drip irrigation and have been spraying fungicide (mancozeb, sulpher - no sulpher on Marquette as they are susceptible to Sulpher damage).

This pic is from a few days ago (they are growing about 3 inches / day). I actually this pic because I am concerned about the health, so if anyone can identity what’s going on with this vine, please let me know.
 

balatonwine

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if all I get from my red are delicious Rosés, I won't complain. :)
One benefit of Rosés are they do no require years of barrel aging like reds (barrels last only a few years till they need to be replaced or shaved). You can get away with pay-once-use-forever containers like stainless steel, HDPE, or Polypropylene.

In cooler climates, Pinot Noir can also be used to make sparkling wine. Or even a rarer white wine.
 
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crushday

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I planted 100 vines six weeks ago. Merlot, Sauv Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cab Sauv and Zinfandel, 20 each. I’ve been surprised at what seems like very slow growth. I’m wondering if they are getting enough water.

As an experiment, I’m going to water two from each variety every day this week and see what happens.
 
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