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Auswineguy

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Hi All

I have recently acquired a farm property in Australia, and have been doing research into the possibility of setting up a small vineyard (2-4 acres)

I'm in a fairly cool climate with summer temperatures around 22-24 degrees and lows of 5-7 degrees.

My land is in a bit of a valley, and the planned area is on a very gentle slope, around 5% and is also south-west facing (southern hemisphere), with a clay sandy loam soil.

I'd be interested to hear some thoughts on the viability of the site like this and if it's worth pursuing a vineyard.

Thanks!
 

WellingtonToad

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You have started right. Ask questions, lots of questions.
Not sure where you are but you must be down south (South of Tassie) ;)
Temperature considerations should include Temperatures in February. 22-24 must be average climatic temperatures not maximum daily temperatures. Although the cooler days that lower your average will affect your vineyard spraying routines
It really doesn't matter where you are, grapes are like a weed. Encourage them and they will grow. It is the variety of grape that is more important. Some varieties ripen later and with a South west aspect you will ripen later still. Talk to your neighbours if anyone has vines. They may be good at giving pointers.
Then comes the cost associated with setting up trellises etc. Not inconsiderable.
Finally, there is the wine making.
In all of this comes the question- why? Is it for your own supply, a hobby, or a commercial venture?
Each answer will affect the direction you take.

Good luck in your venture.
 

salcoco

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also do soil tests to see if soil is viable for grapes.
 

winemaker81

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@Auswineguy, in many states in the USA there are private and public wine & grape organizations that offer advice. The NC State University has an extension that publishes maps that indicate what grapes grow well in various regions.


While this is not of direct help, it may help in locating any similar sites in your area.
 

BigH

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My advice is to calculate

* how many days you have between the last killing frost in the fall and the first killing frost in the spring
* how many growing degree days you accumulate during the winter
* visit nearby vineyards and see if you can find one that is similar to your site. Talk with the grower. There usually are not many secrets in viticulture.
* have your soils tested for nutrients and how well it drains.

Having a 5% south facing slope will mean you are losing about 10% of the sun's energy late in the growing season. The losses get worse as the season wraps up. Having a long growing season can help mitigate this a bit, but if you have a cool climate, then you may not get enough heat to ripen late season varieties.

For comparison, my vineyard faces North in the US, but our summer climate is on the hot side. I usually get 3000 GDD (F) between Mar 1 and Sept 1, and I typically harvest my last variety around Sept 10, which is before the North facing slope starts to be a liability.

H
 

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