We’ve now harvested eight different grape varieties and have only the Frontenac and Sabrevois left to harvest. About 100 tons have been harvested from our vineyards, and we have purchased about 4.5 tons from other Iowa vineyards.
That leaves only our Steuben from which we dropped the fruit. We felt that Steuben needed a year to become more robust because the trunks were getting thin from over cropping in past years.
We applied about 11 miles of netting on Marquette and Frontenac this year and have had a very difficult time getting it all off the vines. We installed the netting just as the birds discovered the grapes, but during the three weeks it was in place, new shoots from the vines grew up through the net. The shoots from the vines act like tenacious fasteners that grip the net. So, when we remove it (when we can), the net is torn and won’t work well in the future. We have a lot of netting that will go to the dump this year and none to use next year.