What's happening in the vineyard now - May 1 2017

 

We are having an early Spring by about 1.5 - 2 weeks. Our Foch, Marquette, Frontenac, LaCrescent vines have leafed out. Most of our other varieties are near leaf-out. Some varieties seem to have expanded all the leaves on their canes at once, thereby negating some of the the hoped for effects of double pruning. Maybe they know we won't have a late freeze this spring. 

It's even surprised the grape flea beetles since they have missed the short expanded bud stage of the vines and now have to eat leaves instead of drilling through buds eating the nascent flower clusters. We hate to leave them hungry. We have only seen a small number this spring. Too bad!

 

We are still in the process of cutting our canes back to the 2 buds we leave on most of our varieties. In some cases we are leaving 3 buds because of the size and apparent vigor of the wood growth last season. If we later decide this is over cropping the vines we'll drop fruit or cut some extra shoots.

 

We've also had some trouble getting into the fields because of the amount of wet days we've had recently. We're looking forward to some dry weather to be able to do some tractor work. Who doesn't miss a diesel roar!

 

Our small asparagus patch began giving us it's first crop about April 24, which is over a week sooner than most years. Our garden is ready but wet. It wants to be seeded but will have to wait till the sun warms it up.

 

Check back regularly as you may be able to see some humor in all of this, as we do.

 

May the sun shine through the clouds and warm us as we go on our ways.

 

 

 

 

 

Grape Prices 2016   (2017 prices will be avialable early August 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variety

 

0-30 lb

31-100 lb

100+ lb

300+ lb

1000 lb

             

Concord

Purple, wine, eat

  1.35

 1.05

   .90

   .84

  .78

Foch

Red, wine

    .98

   .92

   .88

   .84

  .79

Marquette

Red, wine

    .98

   .94

   .90

   .87

  .83

St Croix

Red, wine

    .98

   .94

   .88

   .86

  .80

Frontenac

Red, wine

    .98

   .92

   .86

   .84

  n/a

Petite Pearl Red, wine   1.00    .95    n/a    n/a   n/a

Delaware

Pink, wine, eat

  1.35

   .98

   .90

   .86

  .78

LaCrescent

White, wine

    .98

   .92

   .88

   .85

  .78

Prairie Star

White, wine

  1.25

   .94

   .88

   .84

  n/a

St Pepin

White, wine

  .98

   .94

   .88

   n/a

  n/a

Aromella

White, dessert

  1.30

 1.20

   n/a

   n/a

  n/a

Somerset

Red, seedless

  1.50

 1.25

   1.00

   .90

  .82

2016 GRAPE AND VINEYARD INFORMATION  

 

SEEDLESS GRAPES

SOMERSET  Delicious! Eat well! Eat again! This makes a delicious rose wine. 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. Somerset is sweet, low in acidity, and gorgeous. Sorry, we are out of Somerset for the season. We may or may not retain this grape for 2017. It's possible we may plant another variety in it's place. 

 

REDS

Frontenac  Exciting news! Leigh's Garden Winery in Escanaba, www.leighsgarden.com  Michigan won a Double Gold for his Frontenac wine made from our Frontenac grapes on August 18th this year, at the Cold Climate Wine Competition in Minneapolis. This grape is popular for making port wines and makes a good dry red wine if the higher acidity level is dealt before or during fermentation. We have winemaking directions at the vineyard. 

Foch  can be made into a variety of styles. Try it as a medium rose wine, chilled. Delicious! 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.  

Out of this grape for 2016.

Millot is Gone. 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 very small initial crop in 2016. However this grape apears vigorous so we hope to have a sizeable crop in 2017. (We can't wait either).

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 sized, medium crop this season. Out of this grape for 2016.

St Croix At it's peak now!. Full crop and juicy, juicy, flavorful and soft. This makes a very soft, early maturing, easy to drink red wine with low acidity. A good blending grape.  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. Don't wait too long to pick this variety. It will likely be gone after September 13. Alcohol is typically around 11%   

Out of this grape for 2016.

Petite Pearl is a new variety first planted in 2014.  We will have a very, very small crop in 2016. Sorry beforehand. This will be sought after and most likely will be picked out almost immediately. Might be best for just getting a taste of it for the following year. It's a matter of grapevine development. In the 3rd year a vine may be allowed to have a small crop or just be allowed to grow for size and root development. Out of this grape for 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. When you pick this grape make sure you pick the golden clusters, ideally on both sides. Out of this grape for 2016.

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 very well with LaCrescent. This variety never bears a heavy crop, but what we have this year is looking great, but is a bit behind LaCrescent. It is very easy picking. 

Out of this grape for 2016.

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. Out of this grape for 2016.

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 and is in high demand.

 

CONCORD  What can you say? Big, purple, bursting with flavor, good for eating, juice, and wine. We have an abundant 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. This could be a good year to get large amounts of this grape. 

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. This year we have a good crop. 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.

WHITES 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.

 

 

The Finest Grapes for Winemakers and Wineries

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Sep 2010 Mitchell Vineyard