Summer in full leaf

The vineyard in summer 2015

 

It's the middle of July and we are having a brief rest while the vines do the work. The summer has been unfolding much as the previous two summers had been, cool with a bit more rain than we would like. Still, we have been fortunate in avoiding the worst of the numerous storms that have passed by. 

There was some winter damage this past winter, but not as much as the previous. More than half of our vines are hanging very nice crops now, slightly above average, while several varieties will be smaller than average. The quality looks very good, and with some decent weather for the next 6 weeks we should have some high quality grapes for sale. 

We expect harvest in the early part of September, with the exception of our seedless Somerset grapes, which will ripen towards the end of August. 

 

2015 GRAPE AND VINEYARD INFORMATION  mid July 

 

REDS

Foch  can be made into a variety of styles. Make a light red wine, easy to quaff or ferment on the skins longer for more tannins and aging potential. Foch has cherry notes and is one of the most widely grown varieties in the midwest.  We have taken out almost all the Millot grapes and will have none available this season. We have replaced them with Petite Pearl grapes, which will bear their initial crop in 2016.

Marquette  is one of our more popular red grapes. It has more tannins than other reds and has a high sugar and alcohol content.  It is in high demand. We should have a nice crop this season. 

Frontenac  is very popular for making port wines and makes a good dry red wine if the higher acidity level is dealt before or during fermentation. 

St Croix This makes a very soft, early maturing, easy to drink red wine with low acidity. If you prefer mellowness in your wine this is a good choice. It is ready to drink sooner than most other reds.  We have a very nice and larger crop this year.  St Croix makes a medium to full-bodied, dry, deep red wine with soft tannins and good fruit aromas, along with currant and other dried fruit flavor qualities. It is often picked at 17 - 19- % sugar for best flavor. Alcohol is typically around 11%

Petit Pearl is a new variety first planted in 2014. It will not be available this year. We will have a small crop in 2016.

 

WHITES

LaCrescent is becoming the most popular white wine in the upper Midwest, this grape provides honey, grapefruit, and tangerine aromas and flavors. One of Mary's favorites. We have a good sized crop this season.

Prairie Star This grape is a very good eating grape besides making a fuller bodied white with very mild and sensuous notes. It brightens with subtle flowing flavors. Blends well with LaCrescent. This variety will be in limited supply this season. It does not set fruit well in some years, and it did not prefer this spring. What we do have looks very nice and will be gone quickly.

St Pepin  This makes either a dry wine (one of my favorites) or a slightly sweet wine. It is having a nice crop for this light bearing grape. Makes a very fruity white wine. The grape has low acidity and moderate sugar content. Because it is thick skinned it is popularly used to make an "ice" wine.

AROMELLA  Wines produced from Arandell are described as densely colored, have light to moderate tannins and exhibit notes of dark berry fruit (blueberry, dark cherry), tobacco and hints of black pepper or cedar on the finish. We have a small crop this season. It ripens near end of September, or likely this year, in early October. 

 

OTHER

CONCORD  What can you say? Big, purple, bursting with flavor, good for eating, juice, and wine. We have a good crop with large clusters this year. Everyone who has tasted this grape when young knows it will always be around. It is the ultimate in a very flavorful, very fruity, great tasting grape, How can you resist it? It  is probably also the most widely tasted grape or juice in most of the US east of the Rockies. 

Did I mention sweet wine or fresh juice - again the Concord rules.  We expect to harvest it mid September to early October.

DELAWARE  this is a pink, light red beauty, that is tasteee. Don't wait too long on it this year. We have just a small crop, which should help it ripen fully. Among our fellow employees this probably takes top spot as favorite eating grape, seedless or wine variety. It is not well known outside the Eastern US, but once you taste it you won't forget it. It is popular as a pink and spicy, sparkling wine. The Delaware grape is also a table grape variety sold in supermarkets throughout Japan, where labrusca grape varieties are popular for their fragrance.  We will have a much smaller crop than average. It will go quickly.

 

Please remember that pressing white grapes can take a while. Please help us by having your whites ready for pressing at least 1.5 hours before closing time. Reds are usually fermented on skins before pressing. This makes a fuller bodied and flavored wine than just fermenting on the juice, as is done with white wine.

 

SEEDLESS GRAPES

SOMERSET  Delicious! Eat well! Eat again! We have begun eating this variety as we work in the vineyard. It is good even while still golden and as it turns pink it becomes hard to stay away from. It is very early ripening and will be ready to eat as early as mid-August. 

 

We will update the picking season for 2015 about mid-August, or as soon as the grapes get back to us. Please check back then. 

 

Grape Picking Schedule (dates may change due to seasonal variations)

Grape

Wine

Start Date   

Sugar/Brix 

 TA   

pH   Date

  Crop size

Concord 

Purple, eating, juice, 

 

 

 

    9/16 

 large

Foch

red wine

 

 

 

   9/8 

  large

Frontenac

red wine, port

 

 

 

   9/8 

 good

Marquette (about out)

red wine

 

 

 

   9/18  

  large

St Croix (out)

red wine

 

 

 

   9/8  

  medium

LaCrescent

white wine, aromatic

 

 

 

   9/12   

  good

Prairie Star    

white wine, full-bodied 

 

 

 

   9/8

 small

St Pepin (out)

white wine 

 

 

 

   9/12

  medium

Delaware (pink)

wine, champagne, eat

 

 

 

   9/2   

  small

Somerset

table grape, eating

 late August

 

 

   9/8

  medium

Muscat (aromela) 

white Muscat wine, floral

 

 

 

      

  small/med

 

 

GRAPE PRICES 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variety

 

0-30 lb

31-100 lb

100+ lb

300+ lb

1000 lb

             

Concord

Purple, wine, eat

  1.30

 1.00

   .86

   .78

  .74

Foch

Red, wine

    .98

   .88

   .82

   .79

  .75

Marquette

Red, wine

    .98

   .92

   .86

   .82

  .78

St Croix

Red, wine

    .98

   .88

   .82

   .79

  .75

Frontenac

Red, wine

    .98

   .88

   .84

   .79

  n/a

Delaware

Pink, wine, eat

  1.30

   .92

   .85

   .79

  .73

LaCrescent

White, wine

    .98

   .88

   .84

   .79

  .75

Prairie Star

White, wine

  1.25

   .88

   .84

   .79

  n/a

St Pepin

White, wine

  .98

   .92

   .86

   n/a

  n/a

Aromella

White, dessert

  1.30

 n/a

   n/a

   n/a

  n/a

Somerset

Red, seedless

  1.50

 1.25

   1.00

   .90

  n/a

The Finest Grapes for Winemakers and Wineries

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Sep 2010 Mitchell Vineyard