|Vineyard Best Practices|
Minnesota Grape Growers Association Vineyard Best Practices Outline
To provide to growers of cold hardy grapes information, techniques and best viticulture practices and methods of growing highest quality, cold hardy grapes for maximum economic gain and personal satisfaction.
1. Develop a model of consistent production of cold hardy grapes.
2. Develop a series of methods for producing the highest quality cold hardy grapes.
3. Create a model for economic success for cold climate grape growing.
Goal 1: Develop a model of consistent production of cold hardy grapes
a. Time and financial commitment.
b. Varietal selection for consistent and reliable fruiting as well as marketability.
c. Site selection: Macro/meso/micro climates, soil profiles and related growth habits, site evaluation and slope.
d. Nutrient requirements.
e. Pest management; fungi, insects and weeds.
f. Vineyard layout and orientation.
g. Trellis design (VSP/High Wire/GDC) for vine vigor and varietal growth habits.
h. Setting up for mechanization.
Goal 2: Develop a series of methods for producing the highest quality cold hardy grapes
a. Pruning (cane and spur) for proper fruit load and fruit exposure.
b. Canopy management: Hedging/Leaf pulling/ Shoot positioning sun exposure and sucker pulling/removal
c. Monitoring vine health: soil and leaf analysis.
d. Monitoring crop balance for over and under cropping and remedies.
e. Pest management; Fungi, Insects, Weeds
Goal 3: Create a model for economic success for cold climate grape growing
a. Developing professional relationships with a winery: contracts and communication.
b. Proper equipment for the jobs at hand: mechanization vs. hand labor.
c. Vineyard economic breakdown: Small (1-2acres), Medium (4-6acres), MN Large (10+ acres).
d. Grape pricing: Supply and demand, Pricing per ton vs. Bottle Price Breakdown (100X)
e. Continuing education.