Grapes and more grapes101WINEMAKING.COM      
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Dear Wine makers and Vineyardist,   2010

The topsy-turvy weather of April and May went from record setting warmth in the first two weeks of April to cooler temperature in later April that included several freeze warnings. Fortunately, we saw only minor damage in a couple of blocks that resulted in little more than some early shoot adjustment.  Bud break had occurred in late April in many varieties, quite a bit earlier than normal, so the freeze warnings gave rise to some serious concern.

The warmth returned and growth accelerated – we went from 3" shoots to 10 inch shoots in a few days and we saw trace bloom in Leon Millot on May 26 – the earliest we can remember.

As of last evening, June 5th, 22 of our 30 varieties were in bloom to which pre-bloom sprays had been applied.  The Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer showed trace bloom – they will receive their pre-bloom sprays today, weather permitting.  That means bloom has initiated in over 80% of our varieties.  There have been years when we saw trace of first bloom later than this – remarkable!!

The vines have been shoot-adjusted, suckered with renewals retained where appropriate, catch wires lifted in VSP  (Vertical Shoot Positioned) and shoots tucked and positioned in divided canopies. With the rain and warmth we have seen in the last week, the growth has been very rapid and the tucking and lifting of catch wires will continue.
With the rapid growth that has occurred we may consider starting our post-bloom sprays a tad earlier than usual.  The pre-bloom and 2 post-bloom sprays are the most critical sprays in the program, if one is to achieve healthy vines and clean fruit. This is most important in terms of keeping you, our customers, happy.

At this juncture we are 14 days ahead of the long-term average. It’s very early and we have a ways to go, but one can’t help thinking about the (possible) potential for late harvest. If the conditions were to be right, are any of you interested in a Late Harvest Riesling in addition to the Late Harvest Vignoles?

Keep in mind this is farming and as most of you know things can go to hell in a hand-basket in the matter of a day or less.


We (Tom and Marcy Mitchell) are owners of a small vineyard located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Region in central NYS on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail. We are not a winery, though, you are and you are the wine makers! TOM is in the vineyard growing grapes for your wine making needs. We have a full line of supplies for the amateur wine maker and brewer. We ship supplies to USA, but are unable to ship our grapes or juices.


May Your Wines Fall Bright!