Tressa in Temecula

hollymolecule(sunset z18)November 28, 2006

I hope you don't mind my addressing this to you in particular, but I noticed that you're from the same general area as I am, and I wondered if I could ask a few general questions about growing grapes in our neck of Southern California.

We've got about 40 acres of which (I think) only about 5-10 acres are suitable for grapes. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about growing grapes, but for me, reading can't compare to hearing about people's personal experiences.

Thank you for any information you are willing to share.

Did you ammend your soil in any way before planting? Do you fertilize regularily now that your vines are established?

What were your primary considerations for choosing varieties?

Is Pierce's Disease still a big problem? Did this affect your variety choices? (All the information on the web I could find on this topic was WAY to technical for me)

Again, thank you for sharing the "fruits" of your experiences.


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Well, we started out like you. We like to wine taste so whenever we are doing so we ask A LOT OF QUESTIONS. We have made friends with a few winemakers who are always willing to share their knowledge. I'll try to answer some of your questions:

No, you do not amend the soil. It just has to be "ripped" to about 2-3 feet. A little compost is added at planting time just to the hole.

Local (northern/central CA) grape vine growers will assist you with the type of rootstock you should purchase. They are very familiar with Temecula and will give their recommendations. Look around to see what everyone is growing. We chose what we like: Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Syrah.

No Pierce's Disease is not a big problem at this time.

Read a few beginnners' books. My DH gave me a book "From Vines to Wine" by Jeff Cox that has everything you would need to know to start a home vineyard. He grows in Northern CA but has a good list of suppliers and grape growers that can be utilized for our area.

There is a local winegrowers association in Temecula - I can't remember the name of it right now but they meet at the Glen Oaks Hills clubhouse. We got the info from the winemaker at Black Foot Winery on Glen Oaks Road. When we decide to live on our property full time we plan to get involved with them.

GOOD LUCK!!!! (It's a lot of hard work if you plan to do it all yourself)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 3:32PM
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hollymolecule(sunset z18)

Thank you very much for your input. I've read "From Vines to Wine" so many times I broke the spine on the book in several places, and indeed have found it very helpful in every aspect but differences between the more mild Northern growing regions and the hotter Southern regions. As you suggest, nothing beats going out and knocking on doors. I will look into the winegrowers' association, as I'm personally really only interested in the growing part. My husband and his family know more about the wine-making, so I'll suggest that they hit the wine tasting and let them let their taste-buds decide (within reason) what vines to plant.
It does sometimes seem like an overwhelming undertaking, but we're starting pretty small. I can see how it becomes a life-long love affair. I'm already quite smitten!
Again, thanks for info, advice and encouragement.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 5:34PM
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