It has been a long cold winter. But the sun is out and Spring is busting out all over. When we got back from an escape to Hawaii, there was still snow in the vineyard and in fact it was still snowing some days – but not sticking. That was a good time to take cuttings and to prune the vines for this year’s crop. It was also a good time to put some plants in the ground and it still is. Before I carry on about cuttings, wine, Regenerative Agriculture etc. here are descriptions of the vines that are looking good right now:
Fredonia: This grape is a close relative of Concord, but the grapes are much bigger and it gets ripe two weeks sooner. It can be eaten fresh or made into juice or wine. It does have seeds but is very hardy and a good choice for an all-around home-grown variety in Northeast Washington.
Baco Noir: As usual, Baco Noir is the happiest grape on the place. It grows enthusiastically and produces well. It ripens early, though not as early as some other reds. The wine is a bit lighter than most reds and has plenty of fruit flavor. It has become very popular on the East Coast and word is spreading in the West. It likes moist soil – maybe a little too much. If you have good soil and sun, give it plenty of space and plan on pruning significantly.
Okanogan Riesling: is another rich soil loving plant. It ripens earlier than other Riesling varieties but is still one of the last to mature in this northern climate. Riesling is a classic crisp white wine the way we make it, though it is often known in other places for being too sweet.
Marechal Foch: Named by Eugene Kuhlmann after the general that saved the French Alsace-Lorraine region from German Occupation in WW I, Marechal Foch is indeed a mighty grape. Again it likes good soil and will reward you for providing it with a rich red wine. (Even the pulp is red.) The most widely grown grape in Canada, Foch is a reliable producer and a popular dinner wine.
Siegerrebe: is technically a white grape though the color is more of an orange. It has milder acids that some describe as “strawberry” flavor. It produces abundantly and is a main crop in the vineyard at Down River Orchard, a neighbor and certified organic grower. We have a good supply of Siegerrebe Wine in Stock and invite you to try some wine and buy a vine.
Syrah: This well-known and widely grown variety grows well in our climate but takes ideal conditions to ripen fully. Every year seems to be warmer than the last and Syrah responds to these new conditions. If you are serious about making a pure red viniferous wine and have a good site, this might be the grape for you.
We have a few plants from 10 other varieties, but these are at the top of the list for health and inventory numbers right now.