Vinification ~ Growing – Pruning – Harvesting & Winemaking

Thanks to the beautiful catalogs put out by The Rain Tree Nursery and my endless curiosity, I decided to grow grapes for wine making. I took the afternoon off and drove all the way down to their nursery far into the foothill of the Cascade Mountains. The road became more and more narrow as I climbed further into the hills and it seemed less and less likely that a nursery could successfully exist this far from civilization ….and that maybe I was not on the right road. But I was, and the large semi being loaded up with plants to ship in the driveway explained a lot about how the internet has made things possible for this company.

Like all of my other endeavors I had not put a lot of research into doing this just enough to know they had a lot of grape vines in stock. I milled around and chose
-three different Pinot Noirs
Pinot noir précoce or, as it is called in parts of Germany, Frühburgunder is a dark, blue-black, -skinned, variety of grape used for wine, and is a form or mutation of Pinot noir which differs essentially by ripening earlier than normal (thus the use of the descriptive nomination ‘précoce’).
Pinot noir 44
Pinotnoir 777
Aurore ~ (Seibel 5279) A heavy producer of large loose clusters of golden to pink colored grapes. It makes a delicate white wine and its fruity flavor make it great for fresh eating. It is very early ripening, maturing and thriving in the Pacific Northwest and the cooler humid areas of the Northeast. It was introduced from France in the 1940’s.

Gewürztraminer
-Merlot

The Grape varieties I planted for the table are (from left to right)
Interlaken
Himrod ~ Very early ripening green seedless grape excellent for fresh eating or making raisins. Extremely reliable and productive with long loose clusters of small golden oval berries. A vigorous grower, suitable for planting on an arbor.
Lakemont ~ A sister to Interlaken. Lakemont ripens a couple of weeks after Interlaken but has larger fruit and a delicious flavor. thr grapes are crisp, juicy and very sweet.
Golden Muscat
Suffolk Red
Concord

All of these were grafted on to 3309 rootstock. This rootstock allows the grapes to ripen earlier in the season and imparts extra cold hardiness.

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