Work here, is well underway, with the planning and design of our first vineyard location and grape selection.
However, after meeting with our K-State Horticulture Representative, we were convinced that if we were going to do this, we just as well do it in a grander style.
Our initial plan of starting off with 100 or so vines, has now blossomed into plans for 2 vineyard blocks with a total of more than 300 vines.
As you can see from our vineyard design (image), our goal is to start working with the higher ground around our home. This location seems to be best for our initial vineyard due to it's proximity to the house, fencing, irrigation, and general cosmetic layout (it will be nice to set on the porch and watch the vines grow).
We're going to plant two grape varieties, Baco Noir (block a) and Chambourcin (block b) to start with.
Originally, we were looking to plant only grapes similar to those found in the region and grown by other vineyards in the area, such as Chambourcin.
However, we are really biased towards darker red wines with our favorite wine being red blends. Therefore, we did some research and found a variety of grape that is similar to Pinot Noir, called Baco Noir, which we thought would be perfect for our own red blend base. To check out the taste of wine made from the Baco Noir grape, we purchased some wine from a couple of vineyards in Up-State New York. We were pleasantly surprised how good the taste was…. It's wonderful!!!
With our selection of grapes complete, we should be submitting our order for the plants in the next couple of days. Delivery will be scheduled for sometime during the week of April 18th, 2016.
In preparation for delivery of our grape vines, there are a few things that we need to get accomplished first… Soil Samples collected, irrigation lines laid out, and trellis system selection to be determined. We'll go into more details on the later two items in a later post. Let's spend some time talking about soil samples now.
It's important to prep the soil for the planting of the vines before they arrive. Ideally, the soil testing and preparation should have all been done in the fall. But, since we just purchased our property last fall, we are going to be cramming all of the soil testing and preparation into the next couple of months.
Our first step was to gather the soil samples and take them in for testing. As you can see from the image above, I had a lot of help from “My Crew” when I was gathering the samples. I have a feeling that you are going to be seeing a lot of pictures of “The Vines Crew” in the months to come!
Basically, gathering soil samples requires that you get a dozen or so small samples of soil from around the area that you plan to plant. These samples are all placed into a bucket and mixed together. Once mixed well, you draw out a couple of 1 gallon zip lock bags of the soil and this is taken to the Horticulture Division at K-State.
The K-State Horticulture department will run analysis and tests against the soil samples, and from those tests, the department will provide data about the composition of the soil. Using this composition data, we will be able to determine what additional fertilizers and nutrient components need to be added to the soil for optimum growth potential of the grape vines.
It will take a few days for the soil analysis to be completed. But, I'll provide some updates in a later post of what the results were.
The weather is getting warmer and the ground is starting to dry out. It looks like we are going to start getting real busy with all the work we have to do to get ready for the planting of our 1st vineyard. So far everything we have accomplished has all been paperwork. Everything regarding the planning of the 1st vineyard location, our vineyard design, grape vine selection, and soil analysis are in the works. It looks like we are off to a good start!