Here we grow again!
168 More Vines Added
On May 6, 2021, the team at Seven Birches planted an additional 168 hybrid grapevines to the RiverWalk vineyard site. This vineyard, first planted in the spring of 2019 is approximately 1 acre in size and now boasts 458 individual vines. The first planting in 2019 consisted of 5 varietals (Brianna, LaCrescent, Marquette, Sabrevois, Concord) spread over 4 rows. The second planting in 2020 consisted of 4 varietals (Prairie Star, St. Croix, Frontenac Gris, Marquette) over 8 rows. And, this last planting in the spring of 2021 was all 1 varietal, Prairie Star.
Hybrid grapevines are basically a cross between European (vitis vinifera) and American (vitis labrusca/riparia) varieties with the distinct capability of withstanding harder/colder winters and shorter growing seasons. These vines have been developed by breeders to present wines closer to classic European styles, but with better cold climate growing characteristics. Simply put, we could not grow vitis vinifera here in NH.
Building the Trellis
some serious digging
Since grapevines are in fact “vines”, they require something to attach to in order to grow toward the sun. Since we are not planting them around trees, nor are they growing naturally in the forest, our vines will need a trellis for them to grow onto. We are training our vines to grow in what is called, vertical shoot positioning (vsp), which means that each year they are pruned back to their trunks and trained to grow in an upward fashion on the catchment wires.
Each row consists of the line posts, end posts, fruiting wire, and catchment wires. So, our team had to dig each of the holes for the posts using the backhoe, insert the post 2 feet in the ground, and backfill around the post. Our soil here is filled with large rocks, making pounding the posts into the ground utterly impossible. The end posts are anchored down at an angle creating more strength on the end of each row to hold the wires and the weight of all the vines and their fruit.
Seven more trellis rows were built in the spring of 2021 to hold all 168 of the additional vines to be planted. Exhausting!