grape varieties at the flintridge vineyard
OUR VINEYARD IS DIVIDED INTO 6 BLOCKS. WE BEGAN IN 1995 AND PLANTED A BLOCK IN EACH SUCCESSIVE YEAR THROUGH 2001
BLOCK 1- 1995
MARECHAL FOCH - 130 PLANTS IN 2 ROWS (We make a 100% Varietal of this, leaf pulled, fermented on T73 (Scott) yeast, and another (don't just now remember), ferment on 2 different Malolactic Cultures and suspend oak tea bags for 2 months for a bit of Oakiness.
CAYUGA WHITE ---- 130 PLANTS IN 2 ROWS (We make a Varietal out of this, fermented on K-V111 yeast (Scott), cool fermented as cool as we can get. It ages 'on the lees' and is bottled dry. It ages nicely and has a long, mouth watering finish, ending with hints of citrus, grapefruit, kiwi, etc.)
NIAGARA ---------------130 PLANTS IN 2 ROWS
VALIANT ----------------130 PLANTS IN 2 ROWS (ripped out in 2001, and replanted to Cayuga White)
DELAWARE -----------130 PLANTS IN 2 ROWS
STEUBEN --------------130 PLANTS IN 2 ROWS
BLOCK 2 - 1996
MARECHAL FOCH - 130 PLANTS IN 1 ROW
VENTURA ------------- 150 PLANTS IN 3 ROWS. This grape has been a disappointment until this year. We reached 19 + brix and the grapes didn't fall off the clusters as we harvested them. This grape is a white 'blending' grape, and doesn't seem to impart a 'foxy' flavor to the wines.
SWENSON RED ---- 100 PLANTS IN 1 ROW. This variety ripens VERY EARLY and we have to get it down off the vines the MINUTE it tastes sweet, or the deer, coons and groundhogs harvest if in about 3 days. They stripped the vines clean this year. To top it off, Swenson is on the southeast side of the vineyard, the coldest spot in the vineyard, and it had horrible fruit set this year. We mix it with Bianca in our New World. Swenson Red, a good table grape in its own right, makes excellent wine.
BLOCK 3 - 1997
CHAMBOURCIN------- 394 PLANTS IN 9 ROWS - We blend our Hopewell Red with 50% Chambourcin and 50% DeChaunnac/Chancellor blend. I get the latter 2 from Keith Pritchard at Slate Run Vineyard south of Lithopolis (south of Columbus), and I *thought* I was getting a 20% DeChaunnac and 80% Chancellor ration in what I was buying. Well, in year three, standing with one of Keith's volunteer harvestors in the bed of my pickup, dumping about 5 lugs of freshly crushed and destemmed grapes into my plastic 55 gallon "road" drums, and being asked what I did with this stuff when I got to the winery, I told him that, "I like to get my traditional 20%-80% blend because it tones down this metallic taste I often taste in stand alone Chambourcins."
Keith perked up. "20% and 80% of WHAT?"
"Of DeChaunnac and Chancellor!" I said.
Keith chuckled. Ominous. Maybe.
"I give you a different mix every year, depending on what gets ripe!"
Well, I looked at Keith's volunteer with a 'So There!" look, and said, "Well, it has worked the last two times!"
TRAMINETTE----------- 363 PLANTS IN 9 ROWS. This year we pulled down enough to make approximately 130 gallons of Must. We crush and destem and leave the skins on the grapes for 2 hours. They go into the press, with pectic enzyme, some S02, and are pressed pretty clean by our Stoll. We let the juice sit over night, rack off the clean juice and innoculate with Fermaid K yeast nutrient, and LV1 (used to be Lalvin K1111-V yeast) - chosen because it ferments slow and doesn't create a 'stuck' fermentation very often. We ferment 21 brix to dry and bottle as a varietal, sometimes adding a bit of Cayuga to provide some acid to the wine.
BLOCK 4 - 1998
VIDAL BLANC --------- 410 PLANTS IN 10 ROWS
These vines were own rooted in our own rooting box (see below) using a method advocated by Lon Rombough, a grape grower in Oregon. Check his website and rooting information HERE. It took 3 years of filling in what died back to complete this block. There has been standing water in this part of the vineyard and Vidal have suffered from wet feet. We subsoiled the entire vineyard last year and yet this fall we intend to chisel the rows again to drain off our high hill water.
BLOCK 3 - 1997
TRAMINETTE --------- 400 PLANTS IN 8 ROWS
CHAMBOURCIN ---- 400 PLANTS IN 8 ROWS
CABERNET FRANC - 15 PLANTS IN 1 ROW
BLOCK 4 - 1997, 1998, 1999 (own rooted cuttings from Jack Davis Vineyard, Jacksontown, Ohio)
VIDAL BLANC --------- 400 PLANTS
BIANCA ------------------ 140 PLANTS IN 6 ROWS
CABERNET SAUV--- 160 PLANTS IN 5 ROWS
CABERNET FRANC - 160 PLANTS IN 5 ROWS
...our vineyard, rising from a 900' elevation up to 1,010' to the very top.