While walking through the Research Vineyard today with Nick Martin (Vineyard/Winery Mgr and Vit/Eno Faculty), we made some decisions on which varietals to replace with a new varietal next year. Some of these failed miserably in the vineyard this year for various reasons, most notably the brutal winter last year. Then we added insult to injury with the May 15 freeze. The varietals that we are going to replace are: Neptune, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner and Riesling. We also decided that since we just planted an acre each of Chambourcin and Traminette across the highway less than 1 mile away that we would also remove those two varietals from this vineyard to make space to try other hybrid varietals to compare with everything else.
There were a few varietals that did not do particularly well in the Research Vineyard after one year, but we want to give them a second chance to see if it was just a fluke winter or if they really should not be planted in this particular location. These are Lemberger, Zweigelt, Chardonel, Vidal Blanc and Valvin Muscat. We will replant the dead vines in these rows and hope next year will yield better results.
It is worth noting here that we are also pulling our Cabernet Franc in the Oregon Trail Vineyard as only 4 of the 25 two-year-old vines survived last winter.
Two weeks ago we mentioned that the vineyard suffered a hit from chemical drift. The signs of that event are still quite evident throughout the vineyard. Nearly every vine shows at least a few leaves with chemical damage. Photos from the vineyard will be posted below. The varietal with the most notable damage is Rougeon. All 12 vines survived the winter and late freeze; however, these vines have nearly stopped all growth since the drift event. You can see from the photo below that the internode lengths have gone from roughly 4 inches down to just 1 inch, and every leaf grown in the past few weeks shows severe damage.
Most of the table grape varietals also show dramatic damage since the drift event. These varietals have leaves nearly the size of a soccer ball (or futbol as it is called in World Cup competition). However, most of the growth since the drift event is producing leaves the size of a golf ball or smaller. The photos below will show that stunted growth in both Jupiter and Concord vines.
Finally, the KS Department of Agriculture has set some insect traps in the vineyard. There are photos of the two types of traps below as well.