Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Vineyard in Glass

Here are some pictures of my vineyard and surroundings after the recent ice storm that hit the Northeast US. The ice sure put a beautiful twist on things. Enjoy...


  1. I used to live in Ottawa and grew cab franc there. I buried them in winter, using the J method.

    I've been growing grapes and making wine going on 10 years now.

    I like your site.

    I live in the Toronto area now. Two and a half years ago I planted 25 Foch in my back yard. I haven't buried them. This summer will be the first harvest. Our winter temperatures here don't usually go much lower than -10F over night, once or twice in a winter. So, Foch is a safe bet here. However, tomorrow night (January 14 and 15 2009) temperatures are forecast to reach -16F two nights in a row. I understand that Foch are cold hardy to about -20F (from what I've read). Even so, what kind of cold damage can I expect?


  2. Hey Jeff,

    Thanks a lot for visiting my site. Good choice in planting Foch. -16F won't even touch Foch. I have had
    -13F with no bud damage with no winter protection. I never do anything to protect my Foch. It is actually pretty well hardy to -25F I don't think you have anything to worry about until your lows reach near -20F. Sleep well Foch is tough! Expect a full crop. Let me know how you make out.

  3. Cool,

    Thanks. I will sleep well now. Two years ago I tried franc, open, hoping winter would be merciful here, since it's so close to Niagara grape growing country. But we had two nights of -10F and that was that. All the buds died. Even though the canes and trunk were still green.

    I decided to rip them out and stop mamby-pambying around and plant Foch.

    I have two other foch growing near the house on a pergola. They've been giving me grapes for two years now. I net them for the birds. The birds are nuts for Foch. But it's the wasps and hornets that I can't control. They hollow out the berry and leave the skin like a crusty shell.

    Have you had that problem? If so, what do you do?


  4. Jeff,

    Yeah, I net everything. The birds love foch because the berries are so small. Yellow jackets are a big problem for me too, this year was especially bad. I have tried traps, beer and all of the friendly methods. The only thing I find that helps, sadly is to find the nests and kill them. Also I have to spray the grapes every two weeks. I'm very leery of chemicals so I don't like to use anything strong. I have used a product called Bug Stop. It claims it's safe for use up till the day of harvest, but I stop all sprays a month before, just to be safe. If you keep up throughout the season it's not too bad. There are much stronger more effective sprays to use but I try to avoid that route. This year I neglected the sprays and the bees went wild.

  5. I just read your blog re cold weather prtection for vitis vinifera varieties...Just a thought you may like to hear..I put straw around the bases of the vines and hill up with my own made compost...Seems to work here in the UK and being in the North we get very cold winters on occasions..In my first year of planting Solaris and Marechal Foch I had -14c and I did lose some so after that I used straw and compost and have not lost any since.

    1. Michael, I used straw for the first few years and after that I used to hill up the vines. I have found that we get enough snow each year that I can usually just blow it over the vines and it insulates them just fine. So far so good! -Dave