My tour of the gardens this morning showed this wonderful vine nearing ripeness!
The extra rain this year has had a devastating effect on trees this year, especially the grape vines. The extra moisture has been an ideal breeding ground for fungi such as black spot and powdery mildew.
We grow a wide assortment of wine and eating grapes in our one acre experimental vineyard. We are doing that intentionally in order to see which adapt best to this region’s climate, soil, and our farm’s own micro-climate. Our goal is to have as minimal a spray program as possible.
This year’s winner for adapting to the weather is this Staedler Noir, now almost ready for harvesting. We had this vine on our last farm and literally dug it up and transplanted it here 18 years ago. It is of the Noir grape family that includes Pinot and Baco, but we have been unable to identify it. It reliably produces gorgeous clusters of grapes each year, and this year was no exception. We have named it after my Prussian grandmother Margarete Steadler who was an avid gardener and inspiration for my gardening pursuits.
This vine’s biggest challenge this year was Japanese beetles. As you can see, there is minimal damage on its leaves despite the incessant rain. I have trimmed many of the leaves in order to let sunlight hit the fruit, and to encourage fresh air under the leaf canopy. They should be fully ripe in a few days.
Fortunately, I started about two dozen cuttings this Spring from this vine. Since it has displayed such resilience, it has earned a permanent larger section of the vineyard.