Thursday, July 3, 2008


The vineyard has been planted. Vines went in a few weeks ago now, just haven't had a chance to take and upload photos. As I mentioned before, it is ridiculously small -- the entire vineyard consists of 5 vines. At maximum production in a good year, I hope to max out production at 5 gallons of wine, about 2 cases (24 - 750 mL bottles). Certainly not a huge amount, but not bad for someone who someone who lives on a tenth of an acre in a city.

First up is the east vineyard, our showpiece:
Happy vine:

One of the nice features of the "urban vineyard" is that you can make the vineyard a landscaping element. Below, there are two mock-ups for potential ground cover -- smooth river stones to the left, and angular slate to the right. I think the river stone is the prefered look, so placing that throughout the vineyard will be the next step.

On the rugged west side of our estate, we find the lone remaining vine. Basically, I ordered 5 vines and only had room for 4, so I stuck this guy here. It's not as sunny and right next to the garage. Also note the classy chain-link fence nearby. If it ever produces viable wine grapes, I'll be shocked. I may get inspired some day and stick some more vines over here if this guy does reasonably well.

That's all for now -- next steps are ground cover and then trellis construction. I'll also keep you posted on the vine's growth progress. Stay tuned!


CorrMom said...

I like the river rock bestter, too. When will you have the first harvest?

JSV said...

If all goes according to plan, two summers from now a small crop will be produced.

Phil Reeve said...

A happy vine indeed! Looking good Coor. I think 5 gallons might be a bit ambitious though... I thought vines could produce 2-4 bottles/year at most? - allowing for them to ripen of course.

Good luck anyway - I'll follow your progress with interest - and watch out for frosts!

JSV said...

Phil, since Marquette is a hybrid I think the yields will be a bit higher per vine than for your vinifera. UMN estimates 10.5 pounds per vine on average, so in a bountiful year I might hope to see 60 pounds if all vines produce well. Using with Jeff Cox's estimate of 12 lb grapes to produce a gallon of finished wine is where I got my 5 gallon estimate.

Who knows though -- it could easily be less, depending on how things go.

I hope your frost recovery is going well -- bummer on just your second year in.

Phil Reeve said...

Hey, how are the grapes going? I take it you've harvested already, or is this still an early year?

Phil Reeve said...

p.s. just noticed your old post about "two summers from now"... how are they growing anyway?

JSV said...

Phil, I have horribly neglected this blog pretty much since a year and a half ago! Byproduct of having two kids under 3 yrs old at home - but that's the way it goes.

But in spite of no blog posts, the actual vineyard perseveres. Flourishes, actually - Marquette os quite vigorous and I had to hedge my vines above the top wire several times this summer to prevent them from shading themselves.

In the spring I had dutifully removed all clusters except one per vine so the vines could concentrate on establishing themselves. I left the one cluster just to see what would happen. At veraison, birds immediately devoured the grapes - so I'll be investing in netting for next year.

How did your harvest turn out? I just saw your Brix postings - looks exciting!