Keeping an Eye on Napa Growing Degree Days

Now is the time of year to become anxious about what Mother Nature has in store for this year’s grape harvest. We are going to make a barrel of Stagecoach Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon at Tin Lizzie Wineworks in Maryland this autumn. So we have been monitoring the growing degree days in Napa to get an […]

Grapevines Didn’t Get the Memo

Our weather in Central Maryland has been beautiful this month of March. We have had and continue to have a string of above average temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s. Finishing up the warmer than average winter, the spring show of colors has started early. Spring flowering trees are in their full colorful display of […]

A Least Two Feet of Growth in Two Weeks

We have been traveling for the past two weeks. When we left, there were between six and ten inches of growth in the vineyard. On our return we found the Dornfelder vines with about two feet of additional growth, while the Niagara vines put on two to three feet of growth. Out came the pruning […]

Early Vineyard Tasks

Walking along the vines and pulling off the suckers is a simple task. The suckers can simply be bent and they will come right off. Their removal encourages sap to rise in the vine. I discovered the act of removing suckers to be quite pleasant. One is out amongst the vines doing a task that […]

Weeping isn’t crying

After pruning my home vines, I caught them weeping. The teardrop glistened in the sunshine sparkling like a diamond. The weeping foreshadows the growing season. It is the first step in the vine’s life cycle. It signifies that the ground temperature has risen to around 50º F. The vine’s roots are taking up water and […]

Pruning at Tin Lizzie Vineyard

A few days after pruning my grapevines, Kathy and I went to the experimental vineyard at Tin Lizzie Wineworks in Clarksville, Maryland and helped to prune those vines. The vines were planted late spring of 2010. We used blue grow tubes to protect the tender vines. Throughout the growing season, the local deer population kept […]

Pruning the vines

We are nearing the end of a lazy winter. I didn’t do any work with my vines during the colder than normal December, January and February. March has turned out to finally warm up and I decided that I had better prune the vines.

The Dornfelder vines are providing a roof over a patio. Dornfelder […]

Diamonds in the Vineyard

Last night we had the first vine clinging snowfall of the year. Factoids may argue that it was our fourth snowfall. The first was an inch but didn’t cling to the vines. The second and third snowfalls measured trace if that much again with no clinging to the vines. Last night’s snowfall not only was […]

Harvesting the Niagara

I decided, for better or worse to harvest the Niagara grapes. They only reached a brix level of 16 and stalled. The seeds were brown and the flavor was good. Normally, I’d let them hang but since some of the berries were beginning to rot and I don’t have many clusters, I decided to pick […]

Harvest Timing

I’ve given up with my Dornfelder. After an assault from birds, I learned to place netting over the vines and grapes. It helped somewhat. We did have to free a few birds from inside the netting. Then the bees went after the grapes. I guess they are ready for harvest although the highest brix I […]