Saturday, March 20, 2010
Spring in the Vineyards
I woke this morning to popcorn on the vines. Earliest I have noticed in PA. I planted 4 hybrid varieties last year as my attempt at vinifera was a struggle to nowhere. It may have been my pruning methods, root stock or clonal selection, but after 6 years, it was time to get real.
So now enter Seyval Blanc, Traminette, Corot Noir & Noiret. The latter two being the newest set of red hybrid varieties from Geneva. The Seyval seems to be the champ in this set. Strong cane production, semi-vigorous and berrys I allowed to mature in the first year were promising. It may be that this is the vine for this area. These vines are pushing now and encouraging me to make this the key grape for my vineyard.
The Seyval Blanc I have tasted from other area producers was Chenin Blanc / French Columbard in nature. Semi-dry styles with stone fruit flavors, soft tannins, and slight acids. There are some that have produced this as a late harvest in certain years so the fruit has shown versatility in a range of styles. Should the Traminette be everything that other growers have said it is, a better Gewurztraminer more resistant to mold and mildew, then the opportunity to produce a Rhine style Kabinet wine may be the ticket.
At any rate the hybrids as a whole have survived the winter and now the work begins, watching for spring frost, early bud break, and bad bugs hungry for food.