In cold weather, grape growers have to protect the vines from the cold. The graft union is the most susceptible to vine killing damage. At our farm we use soil to protect the graft union and fruitful canes. After harvest we tie canes to a catch wire and lay it on the ground next to the trellis. Next we plow dirt to cover the canes and graft union. After the threat of negative temperatures we remove dirt and bring up the canes. The canes are up out of the dirt and ready to be tied to the fruit wire for the season. The picture is of the implement we use to pull the first passes of dirt back into the aisle.
The first days of May bring rain that April didn’t.
It’s the first Monday in April and I am sitting at a screen not a steering wheel because of constant precipitation. This time of year when the rains hit we keep equipment out of the vineyard to prevent rutting of the aisles. I figure it a good time to introduce myself. My name is Chris Fluri; I am the vineyard manager at White Birch Vineyards. My vineyard experience until this location has been west of the Mississippi. I tended vines in California and Washington State before New York. The main difference between growing grapes on this side of the Mississippi is keeping the vines protected from the damaging winter temperatures and dealing with the relative humidity during the growing season. In the months to come I will give an insight to the different practices and techniques between the growing regions.