In the bleak midwinter...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hi folks,


I hope everyone is staying warm and planning for brighter days ahead.  It's been an interesting winter to say the least;  +18 on Christmas Day, and rain through much of January only to get thrown into the deep freeze in February!  It really makes you wonder what effect this weather is going to have on the vines.  This might be a good year to do some bud assessments before you start pruning for the season ahead... if you'd like a refresher on doing this, click here for a factsheet put together by the Cornell Fruit Extension Team - there are also some links to video clips on their website.

Freeze injury is one of the greatest threats and potential limiting factors for successfully growing Vinifera grape vines in Nova Scotia.  In Nova Scotia, only a few areas of the province would be considered 'suitable' to grow Vinifera, and even there, practices such as hilling are common place for winter protection. 

In November of 2014, Cape House Vineyards in Mahone Bay initiated a research trial to test a couple of different geotextile fabrics for their ability to protect Sauvignon Blanc vines through the winter.   The two geotextiles were chosen based on work that has been conducted in Ontario in 2013 and they included Texel's Arbo-Therm (white polyester felt with a black waterproof addition), and Soleno Textile's Hibertex (white UV protected polyester fiber).   Fabric was installed on the treated plots during the final week of November.

Data loggers were placed underneath the two different fabrics as well as in 'ambient' conditions to measure any differences in temperature and humidity during the duration of the trial.

The fabric will be removed in March and an assessment on timing of bud break, bud survival and vine performance will be made.  In the final year of the trial (year three), there will also be a yield assessment from all treatments.   Please stay tuned as we continue this experiment through 2015 and determine whether or not covering vines is a viable winter protection strategy!

Lower Vineyard during the growing season.



Lower Vineyard On November 26th, after Arbo-Therm and Hibertex were installed.  






Northern Grapes Webinar Series - Check it out!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hi folks,


I hope harvest is going well and I'm sure it's pretty busy on the crushing room floor these days!  I just wanted to pass along some information for the next series of Northern Grape Webinars that start on November 20th.  If you haven't already checked these out, it's a great way to hear the latest research and information without ever having to leave home (it's the only 'conference' you'll be able to attend in your PJ's).  You can sign up and join each presentation 'live' online or you can check out their website for a list of all the archived presentations they've given over the years.  If you join live, you have an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters and other 'audience' members!


You can check out information on the Northern Grapes Project here. You will find information on their research objectives and their monthly newsletters (there's some timely information on there right now regarding wine deacidification) as well as a link to their archived webinars and a spot to sign up to join in this years webinar series! 


Here's a peek at their upcoming webinar schedule!   Cheers, Rachael 




November 20, 2014


“Trellis Design and Construction and Pruning Fundamentals Prior to Your First Cut”


Steve Lerch, Cornell University and Mike White, Iowa State University


 


December 16, 2014


“Stuck on you – Sulfur Spray Residues in the Vineyard and Winery”


Chris Gerling and Gavin Sacks, Cornell University


 


January 13, 2015


“Emerging Cold Hardy Wine Grape Cultivars”           


Tom Plocher, Northern Winework, Inc. and Mark Hart, Mt. Ashwabay Vineyard & Orchard


 


February 10, 2015


“Comparing and Contrasting Vertical Shoot Positioning and Top Wire Cordon Training Systems”


Tim Martinson, Cornell University; Bob Utter, Flying Otter Vineyard and Winery; and John Thull, University of Minnesota


 


March 10, 2015


“Tannin Addition and Retention in Red Hybrid Wines”


Anna Katharine Mansfield, Cornell University


 


April 14, 2015


“Branding Studies for Cold Climate Wines”


Bill Gartner, University of Minnesota

Fertility - Time to Tissue Test

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hi Folks,


First off, thanks to everyone who came out to our first Vineyard Walk of the season at Planters Ridge - and thanks to John and Lisa for having us! 


I hear from a lot of people around this time of year wondering what (if anything) they should be fertilizing with in their vineyards.  While soil tests do a great job of telling us what's in the soil, it doesn't always translate into what the plant is able to take up!  I am a strong promoter of tissue testing with any perennial fruit crop (and really even many longer season annuals).  It's just a really good way of determining what the plant is able to take up from the soil and what you might need to look at supplementing! 


Generally with grapes, tissue testing is done during Bloom or at Veraison!  Since we are quickly approaching Veraison, I thought it might be timely to post some info on taking your tissue tests!


Sample each variety separately and if you have blocks of the same variety in different areas, it might be best to treat them as separate samples also. 


You can find information on what plant part to sample on the NS Analytical Lab Website  and you can click here to download a copy of the sample submission form. 


When you get your results back, it's a good idea to compare them against 'normal' ranges (this one is from the Midwest Grape Guide)


Suggested "Normal" Ranges of Nutrients from Grape Leaf Petioles* Nutrient
Normal Range
Nitrogen (N)
0.9 – 1.3 %
Phosphorus (P)
0.16 – 0.29 %
Potassium (K)
1.5 – 2.5 %
Calcium (Ca)
1.2 – 1.8 %
Magnesium (Mg)
0.26 – 0.45 %
Manganese (Mn)
31 – 150 ppm
Iron (Fe)
31 – 50 ppm
Copper (Cu)
5 – 15 ppm
Boron (B)
25 – 50 ppm
Zinc (Zn)
30 – 50 ppm


If your values are significantly higher or lower than these - please feel free to give me a call to discuss! 


Finally please mark Thursday August 21st on your Calendar for our second vineyard walk of the season.  Details will be announced on location soon!  Stay tuned to the blog and our facebook page for details. 

Reminder First Vineyard Walk - Thursday July 17th, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Reminder that our first Vineyard Walk of 2014 will be held on Thursday evening at 6PM at Planters Ridge Winery - 1441 Church Street, Port Williams! You can check it out on a map here! Not sure what the weather will bring for Thursday evening, but be prepared with raincoats and umbrellas just in case!!!

Hope to see you all there!

New Pest Management Guide is Online and 1st Vineyard Walk - July 17th!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hi Folks,

Happy Summer!!!! It's been a long time coming, so hopefully it is now officially here to stay!

I've been hearing some reports of winter kill this year, not surprising given the cold temperatures - also some reports of deer, mouse and vole damage which again is to be expected in a year with so much snow cover!

The new version of the Grape Crop Protection Guide is now online! Click Here! You'll notice some changes - we have now included a section on Weed Management - please have a look if you are wondering which herbicide to choose!

Weed control is extremely important when getting your vines established - the area within the row should be kept as clean as possible to reduce competition for nutrients and water! In case you missed it, The Northern Grapes Project hosted a great webinar on Vineyard Floor Management last winter! And you can check out their archives for a number of great webinars!

Mark your Calendars - Our Vineyard Walks will be starting July 17th, 2014 (6pm start!) - Our first one will be held at Planters Ridge Winery (1441 Church St, Port Williams) - thanks to John McLarty and Lisa Law for agreeing to host! You can check out their webpage for more details on the winery and vineyard!

Under Trellis Management Webinar

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hi Folks,   Hope your winter is going well and I'm sure everyone is anxious to get out and start checking for winter damage after Dr. Helen Fishers' talk at the GGANS AGM on the weekend!  I mentioned that I would post a link to our factsheet on how to monitor for Spotted Wing Drosophila - here it is!  Please send me a message if you have any questions... 


I also wanted to let you know about this great webinar that's coming up next week on Under Trellis Management.  I get lots of questions from growers on what the best strategy is for the area beneath your vines... we are lucky to be able to take advantage of hearing these excellent speakers without having to leave the comfort of home!   Please see below for webinar details and how to register!! 




Under Trellis Management
Webcast 
         


Friday, April 4, 2014, 9:00-11:00am




Featuring:


Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel, Cornell University


Dr. Tony Wolf, Virginia Tech


 


Learn about the use of green covers under vines, a management tool that allows a reduction in herbicide use and helps to manage vine vigor.  Additional impacts, including influences on fruit quality, will be discussed.


 


 


This webcast is hosted by Alice Wise and Libby Tarleton, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. There is no charge for participation. Due to the format, NYS pesticide recertification credits will not be offered. Attendees will view this meeting on their own computer.


 


RSVP is required – please respond to Libby @ lt68@cornell.edu or 631.727.3595. 


 


Several days before the meeting, we will forward an e-mail with instructions on how to join the webcast. Please note that you will have to download a program to your computer prior to the meeting please leave adequate time to accomplish this. Details will be provided in the e-mail.


 

Artisan Distillers Workshop - PEI BioFood Tech - Feb 3-7, 2014

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hi Folks,

I trust everyone had a safe and 'fruitful' harvest!  From most accounts, it sounded like yield and quality were good right across the province and it was nice that the weather was mostly cooperative! :-) 

Just wanted to mention that they are now accepting registration for the five day Artisan Distillation Workshop presented by BioFoodTech at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel on Feb 3-7th, 2014.  Please click here for details and registration information.   

Happy Holidays!

Rachael