Determining your soil type can tell anyone growing grapes a lot about the conditions under which your vine’s root system will develop and grow. It can tell you how much you should irrigate or about your potential fertilization schedule. Learn how to determine where your vineyard’s soil type lands on the USDA’s soil-type triangle.
As we move into a new decade, Wes Hagen thought it prudent to lay out some of the latest and greatest gadgets and technology for viticulturists. He also answers some reader questions.
It’s been a few years since we’ve run a Backyard Vines Q&A. Wes Hagen answers several hobby vineyardists’ questions. Learn about tackling black rot, sunburnt grapes, and hedging vines.
All photos courtesy of Shutterstock.com It is not lost on the well-informed winegrower/winemaker that fungi — ancient, single-cell organisms that have been on this planet hundreds of millions of years longer than
For viticulturalists, the time between budbreak and bloom is often a time to let the vines do their thing. But Wes Hagen explains that a little maintenance and care in this growth phase can save grape growers lots of time and hassle later in the year.
Are you ready for some viticultural self-reflection? When harvest is wrapping up, there is no better time to reflect on what you have done right in your vineyard and factors you could improve upon for next year.
For the home vineyardist, harvest day is the most important — or at least the busiest — day of the year. Planning and preparation is critical in order for everything to run
Harvest/Post Harvest Quiz: With Pro-Inspired Conceptual Cheat-Sheets Mark your answers and keep a running score in the margins. There will be a discussion of point totals at the end of the article.
Q & A Q Post Harvest Well, the growing season down here was hot and furious and I can’t believe it, but all of my backyard Zinfandel vines survived all the bugs
Ripeness & Wine Style As harvest nears and the grapes are getting ripe, we growers need to start making some decisions concerning the style of wine we want to create. The wine
Pruning Your Backyard Vineyard Pruning grape vines during dormancy is a vital practice for keeping your vines in balance. Grape growers discovered thousands of years ago that cutting off up to 90
Choosing A Rootstock There was a time when grapevine vineyards were planted with only 18” (46-cm) cuttings from existing grapevines. A few buds went under the ground and few buds were left
Buying Vineyard Land A high percentage of my consulting business comes from wine lovers wanting to buy vineyard property. The story is usually the same: about ten years from retirement, successful in
In college I had a good friend from New Jersey who was convinced that Californians lacked depth of character because we didn’t have to live through harsh winters. Even though I disagree
Planting a vineyard takes time, effort and planning. But your work is not over once the vines are in the ground. In order to have usable grapes by your third year, you’ll
In the wild, Vitis vinifera sylvestris (the forest vine that makes wine) cannot support itself as it grows. By understanding the needs of a wild vine, it will quickly become apparent why
Planting a home vineyard is a serious project that requires study, planning, a willingness to do agricultural labor and perhaps a small streak of insanity that comes with reaching a certain level
A high percentage of my consulting business comes from wine lovers wanting to buy vineyard property. The story is usually the same: about ten years from retirement, successful in business, getting tired
If you want to experiment with your backyard vineyard, these references may be very helpful. All are readily available from major booksellers, or the UC-Davis online bookstore: Making Good Wine: A Manual
Grab a seat, take out your pencil, and get ready for an introduction into the master class on the world’s most popular grape. Guest lecturers include three experts on making Cabernet wines.
This past year brought challenges and rewards for home vineyardists — and also a lot of questions for our vineyard expert Wes Hagen.
Want to make a big smashmouth red wine with grapes from your home vineyard? Then you’ll need to grow big or go home.