Planting a vineyard in Tampere, Finland

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MrHerbington

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My first two vines are "Hazaine Sladkii" (Vitis vinifera x amurensis) and "Zilga" (Vitis Labruscana) which SHOULD endure harsh winters of the north. I also have Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris seeds in the fridge in cold treatment as they need cold to germinate, hoping to grow them inside first and then plant them next year. Also trying to find some cold tolerant variants to plant next year, some pure Vitis vinifera would be nice. Everything will be Red, as I dislike white wines. Anyone got suggestions for new variants? They should be able to endure -30 degrees celsius (usually only -20c), 185 days growing season, up to 1 meter of snow and unstable spring/summer conditions. We can have +25 degrees C for 1-2 weeks in April and then barely above zero for weeks, from +10 degrees C to +30C in the summer and everything between, varies wildly from year to year. Any variety that can tolerate Sweden/Norway/Siberia should make it here. Also that is why I chose hybrids for the first vines. A greenhouse could be possible at some point, with plants straight in the ground.

The vineyard will be on the south wall of the house, high ground on a hill, deep soil, big lakes nearby, these two have acidic soil addition which they prefer. Though I can make any kind of soil for different varieties. I can get big amounts of wood ash, eggshells, used coffee grounds, rabbit droppings and most commercial garden products. I also have 25 kilograms of bat guano (mostly phosphorous, magnesium/calcium). The soil is either loose black fertile soil or semi clay-ish, both soil types have worms.

I planted the vines in June, the rocks are to gather heat from the sun, as temperatures vary wildly in Finland during summer. We can have 10 degrees celsius to 30 degrees celsius in one week, very hard to predict. Should I remove the rocks for winter? They have doubled their size after the pic was taken June 12th

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MrHerbington

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Some variants that I can get easily: 'Swensons Red', 'Fabel', 'Rondo', ´Somerset Seedless´, 'Summersweet', 'Beta' (Vitis riparia), 'Frankenthaler Black Hamburg', 'Spulga', 'Regent' (Vitis labrusca) and 'Nero' (Medoc Noir x Csaba Gyoengye). Might as well try them all...
 

MrHerbington

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Marquette can handle -35 f and makes excellent wine. can you get plants from the US?
Possibly, if I can order them online somewhere? Also I need to find out what varieties our own local vineyards have and if they are willing to sell some cuttings. I know some people have tried even classic french varieties in Finland but cannot find any seller online, have to do some research on that.
 

VinesnBines

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Welcome! Agricultural material is strictly controlled, for good reason, so your best bet i s to see what you can buy in Finland. I'm not sure about the transportation within the EU. I know someone on this forum likely knows.

Good luck! My personal experience is that unpredictable temperature swings in Spring are the biggest weather challenge. The vines can tolerate cold winters but frost and freeze will get the buds regardless of the winter hardiness. Research varieties that have a good secondary crop. Some hybrids are better than others.
 

ChuckD

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When selecting varieties I would start with Finnish or other Northern European universities to see if there are any viticulture programs. That, and any regional vineyards.
 

MrHerbington

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When selecting varieties I would start with Finnish or other Northern European universities to see if there are any viticulture programs. That, and any regional vineyards.
There's some experiment going on at Olkiluoto nuclear power plant regarding if they can use the heat from the plant to keep vines alive during winter, there's some hot water pipes dug into the ground below the vineyard. I don't know if there are other programs

 

MrHerbington

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So it appears that my project has been blessed, weather forecast predicts that we'll have over a month longer summer than usual. This happens only once or twice in 100 years. Good start, as the summer is usually very short in Finland.
 

MrHerbington

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Got this very nice book today about vines & wines
 

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MrHerbington

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Zilga today. Over 1 meter of new growth in the first summer. Very healthy looking, dark green leaves.
The other one is not so happy, Hazaine Sladkii has grown but still pretty small, and the leaves are yellow-ish
 

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MrHerbington

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Ah yes, found a source for rare red varieties from Estonia. I'll get them next spring

 

VinesnBines

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Great news! Some of the varieties are available in the US. I'm growing Leon Millot.
As to your vines - as long as they are alive, keep on. Different varieties grow at different rates.

I was going to suggest the vines be buried in winter; looks like that is the best method.
 

ChuckD

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I saw some interesting stuff in Plocher’s book on northern vineyards on extending the season. In China they have been growing them in greenhouses. If you can take advantage of mico-climates you could try that. For instance planting against the south side of a building or a tall retaining wall for heat retention.
 

MrHerbington

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Great news! Some of the varieties are available in the US. I'm growing Leon Millot.
As to your vines - as long as they are alive, keep on. Different varieties grow at different rates.

I was going to suggest the vines be buried in winter; looks like that is the best method.
At least the Zilga will be under snow, as it is growing free at the moment, and very close to the ground. I'll get some trellis system next year. Hazaine Sladkii is so short it is still upwards, but Idk if it falls down soon. It has 5 branches, the Zilga has only one. Probably that's why the Zilga appears to grow faster.
 

MrHerbington

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I saw some interesting stuff in Plocher’s book on northern vineyards on extending the season. In China they have been growing them in greenhouses. If you can take advantage of mico-climates you could try that. For instance planting against the south side of a building or a tall retaining wall for heat retention.
Yes they are on the south side of the house. Also big stone wall gathering heat in addition to the stones on the ground around the vines. I could get a greenhouse at some point but I have to cut some trees down first and save some money.
 

ChuckD

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Yes they are on the south side of the house. Also big stone wall gathering heat in addition to the stones on the ground around the vines. I could get a greenhouse at some point but I have to cut some trees down first and save some money.
If the wall is tall enough you could plant the vines a few feet from the wall and lean the trellis back towards the wall. That would make it easier to cover them with clear plastic for a temporary greenhouse to extend the season.
 

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