Ordering my vines couple quick questions?

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Jan 4, 2010
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Im planning on starting with 6 rows of grape vines (6 vines per row 4ft between each plant). 6 Foot between rows. Each row a diff variety. Total of 36 Vines to start.

How much wine would this net me? 1 vine= 1 gallon Juice? or 1 gallon finished wine? I know there is no exact answer here but close is good.

Would 1 gallon of juice still make 5-6 gallon of wine (similiar to the kits)?

I just dont want to be flooded with grapes and have them go bad.
Can you juice them and Freeze the juice to use at a later date?

Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for any input.
Can you give a little more information like what varieties you are planning on planting? The reason for that question is your between vine spacing might be a bit too close.

To help with some of your other questions. You might be able to get 16 lbs. of grapes from some vines. That would net you about 1 gallon of juice to make wine from. You normally don't dilute the must with water like you do with a kits concentrated juice. Since different vines ripen at different times you wont be overwhelmed come harvest time (unless you plant more vines that is).
I think that i would like to plant: Traminette, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Melot, Cab Sauvingnon, & Cab. Franc. From what ive found on different sites is suggested for 4-8 between vines. some even plant the rows 4ft apart. but i have the space so im planning on 6' between rows, and 4' between vines
Sly, I do not have any grapes but i am surrounded by vineyards. I am not sure of the standard distance between the rows but think about the size of the equipment you may be using down the road to get between those rows. Also with the rows that close will the grapes get all of the sun light they need. I guess that would also depend on whether the rows run north/south or east/west to maximize the sunshine on the grapes.
I understand where your coming from then. Do try and check with some local growers and see from their experience how vigorous vines might be in your area though.A good rule to follow for spacing between rows is keep the spacing as wide as the canopy height is (or wider depending on equipment you might be trying to drive down between your rows). A soil test is a good thing to do too.

Another thing you need to know is the hardiness zone where you live.Most vinifera can't live thru extreme cold. Zone 7 and higher is usually recommended. You also want to find out how many growing degree days do you have where you live. That will help you find out if you have enough warm days to ripen fully some of those varieties you have listed(merlot and cab.sauv are late ripeners). Hope I'm helping you a little here.
They will be planted on a southern exposed hillside (its acctually rather flat up there) above my house. Full sun from morning to eve. They will be planted in a North/South direction as suggested by the vine supply place.

This soil is excellent i have a small garden at the one end and i had bout 30-40 tomatoes per plant. everything grows great up there.

I planned the 6 ft between rows so i can use my big 4wheeler and pull behind mower to mow it.

The Traminette is the only vine out of the ones i listed that they recommend 6-8 between vines, the rest are all 4-6ft.
I live in northeast Il. and had cab. franc and chardonnay for a few years. I can tell you that they can easily fill an 8 foot trellis if you have an fertility to your soil.Thats why I suggested checking with some local growers and see how and what they are growing.And just so you might not have to learn this lesson. Cab. franc and chardonnay get killed back with temps. under -10ºF. The others viniferas you have listed have an even higher temp. for winter freeze damage.
I live in southern Pa. Zone 7. Temps in winter hardly ever drop below 0. To give you an idea im approx 45 mins north of the chesapeke bay. I'll check there is a winery not more than 2 miles from my house and see what they say about there vines. I guess i could always do 5 vines per row (with 6ft in between vines) and still have enough grapes for one batch. ill have to go and get the tape measure out tomorrow and ck and see what will work. Thanks for the input.
If your soil has high vigor potential, you can select specific rootstock to manage excess vigor. If the soil is too fertile and holds moisture well, the vines will tend to push alot of vegetative growth but not produce much fruit. When you place your order, make sure to inquire about the choices for rootstock and which ones are best for high vigor sites. I assume they will be supplying you with vines which have already been grafted... if not, you'll have to graft yourself since own-rooted vinifera will have their roots destroyed by phylloxera otherwise and all your hardwork will be in vain.

Also, a good rule of thumb when spacing your rows and planning your trellis system is to ensure the height of the trellis is the same as the spacing between rows. Since you're planning on 6' between rows, you don't want your trellis any higher than that or you'll increase shading of the vines.

One last thing to consider... don't try to rush your vines into producing a crop. It usually takes about three years to get the vines established before you should let them bear any fruit. The good part about that is that it gives you a few years to really brush up on pruning, disease management, canopy management practices, training systems, etc. before you have any crop on the vines. The Cornell and Virginia Tech. Enology and Viticulture websites have some good info on grape growing and winemaking geared towards production in Eastern North America. Check them out:


Good luck with the grapes. You have gotten some pretty good advice already. My main point is for you to do your homework and learn all you can. The vines will get larger than you expect if the soil is fertile like you say, especially the Traminette. Get all of them you can on rootstock to control the vigor and give them resistance to phylloxera.
:uJust ordered my vines today!
I got the following:

Cab. Sauvignon 6 grafted
Cab. Franc 6 Grafted
Merlot 6 grafted
Pinot Gris 6 grafted
Pinot noir 6 grafted
& Traminette 6 Hybrid

I had to rework the "vinyard" for spacing I decided to do 12 rows instead of 6
So that would give me 3 vines per row with 6ft between each vine. With 5-6ft for row spacing. Hopefully they all grow well. the cab sauv might be a problem, but give it a whirl and see how it goes. Now i just have to wait for 3years till i get some grapes to try! Guess that will give me some time to perfect my wine making with the kits!
are local wineries growing these vinefera with success in your area? do you have enough degree days to fully ripen cab sauv? check out the winkler scale on winemaking regions and degree days. generally speaking, grape vines don't grow if the temp is below 50* F.

i also agree about dropping any fruit for the first three seasons to get the vines well-established.
Local wineries have the cab franc, merlot, & Traminette. not sure what the winery up the street has. The cab sauv, merlot, pinot gris& noir are all zone 7. the cab franc is zone 6 and the traminette is zone 5. Im on the boarder of zone 6&7. The only one that i can foresee some problems could be the cab sauv. The growing season around here is pretty long. We very seldom get a frost before nov. average winter temp for my area is approx. 20 degrees. Im gona try it and see how it goes.
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I am also contemplating buying some vines. I live in Northern MD, by York Co., so I am also Zone 7. Where did you get information on vines, and where did you order yours from?

Well, glad no one has talked you aout of it yet. I just started my vineyard yesterday.. and am I tired and sore. :dg I planted 2 rows of Zin 6ft b/w plants 14 vines in a row. Each mature vine should give you about 10-15 lbs per vine and you need about 80lbs for a 5 gallon batch. I would also suggest tyty nursery for your vines if you have not checked them out, I order 3yr old vines and they were great really rood root system.
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One of my best memories was in PA, on Columbus Day. I was in sales, and my customers were closed! Who knew? Columbus day? Whatever.

I see this sign with an arrow: "Wine tasting." My steering wheel was on auto turn, and soon I pulled up in front of this incredible huge house with a very flowery aroma. Hard to describe. This was in PA. Amish country. Close to Intercourse. Who could forget that?

What a lovely place! I entered the two story doors, and they welcomed me to the tasting room. The wine was devine!

Here is to Christopher Columbus!!

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