Technique

Troubleshooting Home Vineyards: Tips from the Pros

To make the best wine, you need the best grapes. And that requires a lot of work in your hobby vineyard. Get tips on what to look for and when to look for it so you stay one step ahead of potential problems that could derail your crop. Ed Kwiek established his own cold-climate home vineyard in 2000 where he grows cold-hardy grape cultivars bred by Cornell University. In 2008, he began his own consulting firm, Woods Wine LLC, which helps winemakers in the Northeastern US install vineyards. Walking the vineyard brings me joy, so I do it very often. I occasionally walk the vineyard during the winter because I enjoy looking at the condition of the vines and assessing the damage that the cold weather may have done. You may want to perform bud mortality assessment or you may just want to look over the vines and determine how much “new wood” you will have to work with during spring pruning. Just before the growing season, you will be pruning and spraying the vineyard floor with herbicides. From an