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Pinot Noir Bud Break

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jgareri

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Hi all,

Hope you've had a good start to your growing season. Question for those in northern climates. i'm in Ontario and my 5 pinot noir vines have not shown much sign of life yet. Buds look like their swelling a bit, but there's no action on any of them so i have no idea if the plants are still alive. A little background: I planted my first vines (these 5 pinot noirs) in my backyard last year and they had great growth over the course of the year. I'm headtraining them but I'm just concerned by the last of bud break. Am I overreacting?

Any help would be great.

Regards,

Joseph
 

balatonwine

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How has your weather been? Have you had enough growing degree-days?

I would suspect that Ontario would be, in general, a very, very difficult place to grow and fully ripen Pinot Noir consistently. But there is nothing wrong with taking on a challenge. ;)
 

jgareri

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How has your weather been? Have you had enough growing degree-days?

I would suspect that Ontario would be, in general, a very, very difficult place to grow and fully ripen Pinot Noir consistently. But there is nothing wrong with taking on a challenge. ;)
Ontario does a number of decent pinot noirs given the shorter growing season. Its a better climate for Riesling and some whites and red. The pinots in Ontario, from what I can tell, ripen around late September/early October. What would be the growing degree-days? I've looked at the link and understand the math, just not sure how many GDD are required.
 

balatonwine

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Ontario does a number of decent pinot noirs given the shorter growing season.
That is fine. But that is not what I said of course. I said it would be a difficult grape to grow there. Pinot Noir is often considered to be more finicky than many other grape varieties. And if the wine is "only" decent, that kind of indicates that. I am not critiquing your region or your choice to grow Pinot Noir. Simply pointing out that many varieties grow ideally in only a limited number of areas, and most of Ontario is probably not an ideal place for Pinot Noir. So, yes, you can grow it there. But it will be a challenge.

But, I personally like challenges myself. So more power to you. ;)
 

pillswoj

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Ontario does a number of decent pinot noirs given the shorter growing season. Its a better climate for Riesling and some whites and red. The pinots in Ontario, from what I can tell, ripen around late September/early October. What would be the growing degree-days? I've looked at the link and understand the math, just not sure how many GDD are required.
Ontario is huge with many different climates, you don't say where you are. I am in central Ontario (near Barrie) and tried and failed to grow Pinot noir (4 vines). down in Niagara they can do quite well.
 

sour_grapes

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Ontario is huge with many different climates
I've always been aware the Ontario is huge, as it used to freak me out that it forms the border for most of New York AND most of Minnesota. But I never quite realized just how big: 1.5x the size of Texas, 2.5x the size of California (and 12x the size of Hungary)!
 

jgareri

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I've always been aware the Ontario is huge, as it used to freak me out that it forms the border for most of New York AND most of Minnesota. But I never quite realized just how big: 1.5x the size of Texas, 2.5x the size of California (and 12x the size of Hungary)!
yes ontario is huge. most of it is frozen 8 months of the year so there's no growing anything there. We have a large geographical footprint with lots of climate. I am just northwest of Toronto, which a climate that would be close enough to Niagara's to support pinot noir. Pinot noir was supposed to be the breakthrough grape for Niagara in the late 2000s, but I don't think we had the right producers and the right mindset in growing it. Its coming back though, with Norm Hardie and Pearl Morrissette putting together some nice vintages (although expensive, if you ask me).

Pillswoj, would you know when Niagara's pinots buds break?
 

balatonwine

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I am just northwest of Toronto, which a climate that would be close enough to Niagara's to support pinot noir.
Macro climate only indicates where grapes might grow. More important is the vineyard's meso- and micro- climate (including soils and geography). I have two vineyards that are just a few hundred meters apart, but bud break and ripening are up to a week apart because local topography and other factors affects the local vineyard's mesoclimate. One vineyard has variable soils, making within vineyard vine growing highly variable and a significant challenge.

So, even your neighbor may have different results than you do. And what happens in Niagara may not be fully applicable to your local vines much at all. If you have bud break (feel free to post a photo for those here to give their opinion when bud break may occur based on the swell amount), I am sure the vines will break bud eventually. Give it some time. When you harvest and the quality of the grapes this year will depend on the summer weather.

And bud break can have a lot of yearly, highly variable, factors, so may be surprising and may vary wildly between years:

http://winesinniagara.com/2012/05/we-have-bud-break-in-niagara-but-it-wasnt-an-easy-ride-for-the-vines/
 
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pillswoj

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Checked with my Father in law, Niagara bud break on Pinot noir was about 2 weeks ago. My surviving vines are at least a week or 2 away from bud break. I should really just rip them out and find a variety that will thrive here.
 

jgareri

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Checked with my Father in law, Niagara bud break on Pinot noir was about 2 weeks ago. My surviving vines are at least a week or 2 away from bud break. I should really just rip them out and find a variety that will thrive here.
Excellent. One of my broken vines as a result of the dog ended up producing a shoot a few days ago. The swelling on the majority of the buds looks like they will break shortly. Being about 2 weeks behind Niagara seems like a reasonable timeline
 

jgareri

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So I haven't had bid break yet which is worrying me, but some buds look like they are getting bigger. I know that at least two of the plants aren't dead because I have 2 waterspouts (I think that's what they are called when they come from the base of the plant) coming out. I'm assuming that this means I'm just overworried and at some point soon budbreak will occur. Thoughts?
 

Masbustelo

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It's sort of a moot point, because someone with more experience probably would have cut last years growth to the ground and allowed the plant to do exactly what is occurring. You will be surprised at the growth that wiil occur this year. This years growth may do a better job next year of surviving the next winter.
 

jgareri

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It's sort of a moot point, because someone with more experience probably would have cut last years growth to the ground and allowed the plant to do exactly what is occurring. You will be surprised at the growth that wiil occur this year. This years growth may do a better job next year of surviving the next winter.
It doesn't look like a have a choice. Im going to cover them this year to hopefully protect them a bit over winter and see what happens there next time around
 

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