Last week, we planted several hundred new LaCrosse vines at Maple Woods and this week, we planted a test plot of 60 Clarion vines at Meadowcreek East. We use the LaCrosse to make a varietal wine and also as a blending component in three wines. The Clarion is a new grape that we are testing to determine if it has a role in our future wines and blends. We expect to get a light harvest from both vines in 2025 and a full harvest in 2026. Because it is dry down in Mahaska County now, we will be hand watering these new vines regularly.

The Marquette is largely grown on what is called a vertical shoot positioning trellis system. The new canes want to grow almost anywhere except the vertical band allowed by the trellis wires. So, we have to put them back into their “cage” early in the season. We call that process “tucking.” We have a two to three week window when we can do this. Once the canes are mature, we can tuck the canes only by breaking them.

We sprayed fungicide at Tassel Ridge vineyard and after getting our brush mower blades replaced, we have been mowing almost every day.

Some big news is that the Marquette has now finished flowering. The next step will be for the Marquette to actually set fruit.