Our grapes like the warm weather (up to a point) and are back on schedule after a late start this year. They are almost done flowering and most varieties have set fruit. One variety that failed to set much fruit is St. Pepin from which we make Prelude. We’re not sure what happened but we suspect that these vines flowered during a few days of very hot weather with no wind. This variety is pistolate, meaning that it has an imperfect flower and depends on pollen from an adjacent grape vine to pollinate. We intentionally plant St. Pepin next to rows of vines that flower at the same time so that they can pollinate the St. Pepin. But, it requires a little wind.
We’ve just finished planting about 1,250 new vines. This includes 700 Crimson Pearl vines. This is a new variety for us. The attraction of this variety is that it makes a robust dry red wine with significant tannin. We are hoping to make a premium dry red wine from Crimson Pearl. We also planted vines to replace Steuben vines that died.
This week, we will be applying both fungicide to the vines and herbicide under the vines. We will be combing and suckering vines at Maple Woods and will be suckering the new vines at Newport. Depending on how much rain we get, we will also be watering the new vines we’ve just finished planting. Finally, we will be removing leaves on the east side of Marquette and La Crescent vines at Meadowcreek Vineyard. This is done to allow more sun exposure to the grapes. The additional sun exposure will help create better flavors in the fruit at the same time reduce acid levels.