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Bobp

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With an eye towards our future small farm winery...We are planting a small vinyard.

Ground prep is under way...

I'm looking for opinions on the variatles below...?

This is my Vineyard order for early spring 2018... I should have them in February.
Both wine and sweet table/jelly types...

As a start for our vinyards.
100 cynthianas
100 Cyugas
100 mars
100 catawaba
100 sunbelts

Muscadines.... These already have been proven to grow up here... They're going on a hill side with 5-6% grade facing east... Rows running N-South'ish...

We've ordered 50 each:
Alachua -Black
Delicious-Black
Dixie- Bronze
Southern Jewell-Black
Also want a couple whites? ???

We also have 1000 Gojis and another 1000 Blackberries ordered for this spring.


I intend to put out on trellis10 of what we call possum grapes... From wild cuttings... As a trial.... A few years back when I was dozing I had some trees come down that were full of them... They made great jelly, jam and wine... So I gotta try... After all the Cynthianna owes it's roots to wild ancestors as do others.

This is added to our current 31/2 acres Blackberries, 1ac Raspberries, 1/4ac Elderberries,
1ac Blueberries, 1/2 ac Apple's, and Peaches...

Long term, We plan on adding more fruiting trees, vines and bushes....Till the work load tells us to stop...Stair stepping the work load through diversification so you go from harvest period to harvest period.... In a manageable fashion.
I intend to stop driving into my Electrical job to stop working in town at some point...In the near years,....And just farm.....Maybe ill do some electrical work in the winter if necessary? I'll keep my license paid up as back up..
 

Stressbaby

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I'm not far from you in central Missouri.

I have nothing to offer wrt your Muscadines. However, with your other selections, Norton and Cayuga seem like good choices. Catawba is way too labrusca for my taste. The neighbor up the road as 6 acres of Catawba and he has expressed regret that he planted it. Prices aren't that great ($600/ton sticks in my mind). I've never been able to stomach a second glass of Catawba. He gave me some last year and I tried making it myself, still no good. Sunbelt and Mars also both are supposed to have some labrusca, but I've never had the grapes or the wine.

FWIW, I planted my vineyard this past spring. On the recommendations of friends/neighbors/Missouri folks on this forum I went with Traminette, Chardonel, and Vidal Blanc. You might also take a look at Aromella and Arandell. Both of these grapes are supposed to be relatively disease resistant. I suppose the question is how will they fare in Arkansas. Chambourcin does fairly well around here.
 

balatonwine

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I'm looking for opinions on the variatles below...?
If you want to farm as a business, do the ag research to find out what grows best in your area, and then the market research for your target group for what sells best to them.

Don't grow just what you like or what someone not in your target group suggests. Since both of those will never put money in your pocket from sales, and may lead you astray. ;)
 

Bobp

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Sure I get it... It's how I've approached most everything....But it's also good to factor in the experience factor... hence my question.. looking for others experiences..

There is already a nice wine industry here, I'm looking towards small batch type product.. There's room in this and most market s for a grown here, made here bottled here small farm Product...
 

Stressbaby

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I belong to a listserv group for grapes in the southern Midwest. Covers MO, AR, IL, IA, KS, KY, NE, OK, TN. I don't know if this helps you with a decision, but this might give you a little insight into supply and demand.

For sale, from a total 15 listings:
Norton predominates, 10 listings
Noble muscadine shows up twice.
Chambourcin twice
Vidal three times
Traminette twice
Seyval twice

Wanted, five listings:
Chambourcin, twice
Traminette, twice
Once each for Marquette, Valvin Muscat, St Vincent, Seyval

By the way, 1000 Gojis. Have you tasted them? Do you like them? I have a goji bush and while I will reserve judgment for a couple more years, the ones I've picked so far are distinctly UNfruitlike. They taste like tiny little tomatoes.
 
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Bobp

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It is interesting...

On the Gojis... They are very tomato like, and I do like tomatoes, but not so much Gojis....i intend to sell what fresh I can and run the remainder through a dehydrator. The US market is predominantly dried. I believe that with the bommers and others wanting to eat healthy, that there is room for some fresh sales... and the local chefs will take an interest in the fresh as well...For salads ect..Marketed fairly, in 6oz & 12oz packaging.... Which we're already set up to do.

I always do my research based upon low end wholesale #s I don't inflate the #s to make the #s make my business look worthy of effort.... I'm a realist. There is room here for a small farm winery... I'll likley have to produce a country sweet fruit wine and some things that most wine professionals will scoff at but a small market share is all I need...
 

Stressbaby

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Sounds like you've done the research.

Man, that's a lot of gojis!
 

UBB

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500 vines isn't really small ;)

I have 350 and it's basically a full time job in the summer! :D
 

Bobp

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It's small when you look at other local vinyards...They're mostly 20-100 acres.. I wanted enough to make the products we wanted and then sell the rest... We had the same plan on Blackberries, but I haven't been able to keep any back....And a couple local breweries has bought up all my seconds... We'll see how it goes.

I now have a 3-4 yr time line to get the permit, and building up and ready...

The full time job perspective is actually a good thing.

Diversification based upon what is possible, what does well here in our climate, and the harvest windows.... like walking a set of stairs...The farming side fills in the gaps. I have two sons who work in it with me...And I'll add more help as necessary.
 

garymc

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Which climate zone are you in?
I have about a dozen varieties of muscadines in Southeast Missouri. I was at a vineyard/winery in South Carolina a few years ago where they were growing Tara bronze muscadines for their white wines. I have some Tara vines and they produce well and make good table fare also. Medium to large muscadines. They're about my earliest variety. I also have Triumph, an ancestor of Tara, and Darlene from Ison's. The Darlene is wonderful, big grapes and easily the sweetest, mildest muscadine I have, but it's a female and doesn't put on many grapes. I mean like 20 grapes on a vine. It could be the age of the vines, as they're my youngest, but more likely a pollination problem. With respect to the catawba, I like it and find that most people who like muscadine like it. I have a friend that grows muscadines and catawba specifically so that he can blend them. Speaking of blends, some of my best wines have been field blends of muscadine and elderberry. A gallon of elderberries and 5 or more gallons of muscadines in the same primary fermentation bucket (for a 5 or 6 gallon batch.)
I'm curious what kind of trellis system you plan on using for the muscadines. They usually like internally well drained sandy soil, but I guess if they're on a slope that will help.
 

BigH

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For sale, from a total 15 listings:
Norton predominates, 10 listings
Noble muscadine shows up twice.
Chambourcin twice
Vidal three times
Traminette twice
Seyval twice

Wanted, five listings:
Chambourcin, twice
Traminette, twice
Once each for Marquette, Valvin Muscat, St Vincent, Seyval
I am kind of surprised that Vignoles and Chardonnel didn't make the cut. I thought those two were popular in Mizzou.

H
 

Stressbaby

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I am kind of surprised that Vignoles and Chardonnel didn't make the cut. I thought those two were popular in Mizzou.

H
Actually, I planted Chardonel (grafted). They are doing very well, first year caveats apply.

Vignoles has been trouble around here. The guy down the road has 4 acres and to use his words "everything likes Vignoles." By that he means birds, raccoons, and fungus. He let me have some this year - very tight clusters that don't ripen very evenly - lots of what I think is black rot - really high acid. I think he wishes he had planted something else.
 

Bobp

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Update ..we ended up planting
50 Each Carlos, Noble, Alucha, Supreme, jumbo, magnolia
100 each Marrs, Niagra, Cynthiana, sunbelt, cawtawba

The nursery couldn't get me the whole order of Gojis. We only put in 250. We'll see what the market says, but the response to the planting has been great.

We also added some more Blackberries...

Everything we put in this year is doing well.

Planning on doing a GDC/double top wire on the muscadines.
 
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