2021 Grape Harvest
enjoy some shots from our very first harvest
After watching our test block of 4 grape varieties grow over the past 3 seasons, we finally got to harvest the fruit. What started as a test to see if we could grow grapevines in this climate, has turned into a new passion of ours. The vines were planted in the spring of 2019 into 4 North-South oriented rows. 16 each of Brianna, LaCrescent, Marquette, and Sabrevois were planted as the first test, rows A-D. All 4 of them are hybrid varieties out of the University of Minnesota.
We watched as the fruit set early in the season, which turned out to be one of the toughest growing seasons of late. The summer was very rainy, hot and humid, which is just the opposite of ideal growing conditions. We battled mildews and some black rot, but in all, we think we were able to grow a good crop.
As we got into August, the fruit was ripening nicely. We made the conscious decision this first season NOT to install the bird netting because we wanted to know what sort of pest they might be. As it turns out, the birds loved our grapes and nearly cleaned us out. They picked around 75% of the grapes from the crop, no doubt a score for them. We learned a tremendous amount and next year will be installing the bird nets early.
All in all we got a small crop, which we will vinify. That wine will not make it to market, so sadly our vine adopters will have to wait another year.