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MeadowStationVines

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Three years ago when we moved out here a family vineyard was not on my list of To-Do’s.
Some prodding from the wife and finding this forum made me think “ I can do this…”
Not sure how well I can do this but I’m hoping with some luck and help from this forum this will be more than my winter exercise.
I have to say my back is really happy to finally be at this point.

Sent soil samples off last year: Sandy Clay Loam, pH6.8, Organic Material 2.2%, Nitrate 20ppm, E.C. 0.4
We added compost and Nitrate and rented an excavator and dug 2’ wide x 3’ deep trenches to break up the claypan we have hoping that will help with drainage.

We planted 80 vines, 20 of each: Arandell, Marquette, Noiret and 10 of each: Brianna, Louise Swenson.

The plan is to let them grow kind of however this year, I have pencil stakes and some fence wire holding up the irrigation since we will cut them back to little sticks next spring, or that is how I think I’m supposed to do it?

Not really sure where this will lead but one way or another we will enjoy the journey.

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bkisel

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Good luck!

Do you currently do any wine making?
 

MeadowStationVines

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I've been making kit wine for about 5 years. The last 2 years or so I started to learn more of the science behind the wine and making modifications to the kits (not always improvements mind you but modifications). I figure I have about 3-4 years to figure out how to make wine from grapes. Plan to order some this season and give it a go.
 

Johny99

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Great project, and good luck with the vagaries of Colorado winters!
 

mgmarty

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Looks really good. It's a very time consuming hobby. Good luck!!
 

ColemanM

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That looks awesome. Can't wait to see it in three years full of grapes!!!
 

MeadowStationVines

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Well yesterday morning we were enjoying seeing all the little buds bursting.


And then we woke to this......


We are supposed to get 4-8 inches of snow today/tonight.
Went out and covered them all with gallon freezer bags hoping that will help. Weather station says the overnight low was 32 so not too cold but not exactly what I was hoping to see mid May.
 

GreginND

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Oh dear. That is always worrisome. It looks like you have some buds still dormant down lower on those vines. So, if you lose the ones that have already grown I'm sure you'll get more coming out in short order.
 

ibglowin

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Looking good except for the whole snow thing this AM! LOL I will be sweating bullets tomorrow morning hoping it doesn't drop to freezing tonight. Marquette is forming clusters left and right at my place.......
 

MeadowStationVines

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Yea and I was thinking to myself last weekend "Well this way better than 2016 when we got snow on Mothers Day" boy was I wrong.
Tomorrow morning will be a little scary for sure, weather folks said we were going to hit 40 today but we haven't even made it to 35 at my house so I suppose we hit the mid 20's just before dawn. I guess the good thing is, it's my first year and there are no grapes to be lost and I'm hoping their little carton zip-lock tents will protect them from any major damage.
 

Johny99

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Hope so. I talked with a colleague in Denver today who said it was snowing to beat the band. Of course snow keeps it from getting really cold. Hope you don't have damage.
 

cgallamo

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You'll have a number of kin on this forum. I have 100 vines in GA. It is a labor of love, but when you get a good harvest there is nothing like it...
 

MeadowStationVines

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Thanks guys. Overnight low only hit 30 so not as bad as I was expecting but considering it mid May.... Guess we will see the damage tomorrow when the sun comes out and we take the bags off.
 

Johny99

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Thanks guys. Overnight low only hit 30 so not as bad as I was expecting but considering it mid May.... Guess we will see the damage tomorrow when the sun comes out and we take the bags off.
Hope they all survived just fine.
 

mgmarty

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I put the sprinkler on and only lost a handful of leaves. I did pretty good, hope you did the same.
 

MeadowStationVines

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I put the sprinkler on and only lost a handful of leaves. I did pretty good, hope you did the same.
I don’t have a frost sprinkler setup as this is the first year and well, I wasn’t expecting to get any more frost but I am curious about using a sprinkler. From what I read you should start the sprinkler before it gets below 32 and keep it running until after the temp is back above 32? We got down to 27 on Saturday morning so if I had to run them the entire time seems like I would have had an ice pond out there. Also what kind of sprinkler do you use? My vineyard is 30’x130’ and I could cover it with 3 impact sprinklers or do they need more of a continual spray?
 

mgmarty

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So I have something similar to this
ImageUploadedByWine Making1495603051.621778.jpg
I wait till it hits 34 degrees, than turn it on. I run it till the sun comes up, and it's above 34 degrees again. I have had really good luck.
ImageUploadedByWine Making1495603149.004424.jpg
 

mgmarty

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Yes, there's a lot of ice and ice sickles.
 

MeadowStationVines

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Yes, there's a lot of ice and ice sickles.
So do you just have one that you set in the middle and let it go around, or do you have multiple to cover the vines from different sides?
I will definitely have to look into something like that for next spring we got down to 31 yesterday morning again.
 

mgmarty

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Last year i had a sprinkler on each corner. I bought this new sprinkler for my pasture, and tried it this spring. I saw no difference. Yes there is always a spot that won't get hit, but it worked great. I lost maybe ten shoots on 72 vines.
 
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