It appears the winter hardy varieties survived the Polar Vortex, with limited damage. The pounds available will be limited on some of the more tender varieties. The vineyard has not received a frost yet, so that is encouraging. As soon as we have fruit set, the website will be updated with approximate pounds available for each variety, and an updated price list.
Spring is approaching in West Michigan and it is an exciting time of year. Additional new vines for planting ship next week. We are going to use concrete trellis poles for the new plantings instead of the treated wooden poles we have used in the past. The vineyard pruning is finished, and warmer, sunny days are encouraging the vines to prepare for bud break. West Michigan experienced a “Polar Vortex” in January, and the recorded temperature at the vineyard reached -25 degrees Fahrenheit. We will know in a few weeks how much fruit set we will have. Once again, this is an exciting time of year at the vineyard.
The spring started out cooler than the average, but as the summer is progressing the temperatures are above average. As of today, this season is approximately one week ahead of schedule. After veraison, we will keep you updated on the progression and timing of ripeness.
Flowering of the grapes at the vineyard has commenced and it smells wonderful. So fruity. It appears Marquette will have more fruit this year than last. Last year this variety had less than optimal fruit set. Seyval appears to be about the same as last year. Merlot and Cab franc are a little less than last year. The young Riesling are growing well and hopefully they will be harvestable in 2019. After fruit set is complete I will be updating the pounds available for each variety. Hopefully that will occur in another week or so.
It has been a fairly mild winter and pruning of the vines is complete. The new shoots are almost all attached to the trellis and ready for the vines to "wake up" as I like to say. I will update the pounds available per variety after fruit set.
I would like to thank all of the 2017 buyers. This year has been good even though there was drought and intense heat when we were harvesting the grapes. We finally started irrigating some of the adult vines due to berry shriveling, which we have never done before. 2 varieties lost about 80% of their leaves just before harvest, which makes ripening a challenge. They were troopers, made it through and gave a lot of fruit in the end.
Post cards will be mailed in late July 2018, the same as this year. If we do not have your snail mail, you will be contacted via e-mail or phone. The varieties and pounds available will be updated in the spring after fruit set--maybe mid to late May.
Thank you for a wonderful year and I hope your wine, juice and jelly turned out well.
We started harvesting Marquette yesterday and will begin harvesting La Crescent tomorrow. These are two early varieties. The nets are doing a good job with bird control. There is minimal damage this year so far.
The variety to ripen after Marquette will be Aromella. We tasted them today and the grapes are at least two weeks from ripening. The acids are still quite harsh. Updates will be added as time progresses.
We put the nets on Marquette this weekend for bird control. Somehow the birds know when grapes become purple they taste best. Next weekend we will begin taking brix, pH and TA readings to ensure proper ripeness for picking.
We will continue to update the Grape Varieties and Pricing page so you know how many pounds are still available for purchase.