Why are you here today? Lucie Morton

Why are you here today? Lucie Morton Why are you here today? Vineyard establishment and sky diving have a lot in common Both are expensive & risky--...
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Why are you here today? Lucie Morton

Why are you here today? Vineyard establishment and sky diving have a lot in common Both are expensive & risky--preparation is fundamental

Be forewarned! After establishing a vineyard, you will never be here again

Black Ankle Vineyard is not in Bordeaux vive la difference!

Mid-Atlantic Vineyards • No table wine history or experienced support network • No restrictive rules: full freedom of choice! • Isolated small acreage in middle of woods • Virgin to grapes soils • Joe will tell us this afternoon, but our climate is more tropical • Requires deer fencing and bird netting

Old and new: Ch. Petrus

Old and new: Ch. Petrus

Trunk diseases cause much age diversity in Bordeaux

Trunk diseases cause much age diversity in Bordeaux: cane pruning helps

Bordeaux can be low

Vines expensive wine districts are very short

Or the people are tall?…

Oxen and tractors have navigated them for years

Some vineyards are “hautes et larges” …...esp. production (less grand) vineyards. Many are mechanically harvested.

They have same diseases and leaf roll too

The use VSP & hedging to manage vigor

Vigor • Number one Eastern US excuse for making questionable vineyard decisions • Controlling vegetation and crop levels are key to avoiding “vege” wines • Low vigor rootstocks, shoot thin, leaf, hedge... • Vigor may diminish with age. • Trunk diseases increase with age • Double trunking is good preparation for keeping vineyard going in spite of trunk diseases and winter cold events and hoe injury

Shade: The Mildew Hotel and Vege-Green Flavor Factory

Eastern vigneron s nightmare (Merlot) Brides of the vigor monster in wet year!

Taming of the vigor monster with hedging

Domestication of the vigor monster (same vines)

Pick a good site Passive biocontrols and quality enhancers – away from trees (trees rhymes with disease) – air flow maximized – soil moisture minimized – clear tree and fence lines of underbrush

Same row 1: Nice balance

Same row 2: Vigor variation

Same row 3: drought stress

Truisms not always true.. like CS being>vigor than Merlot Cab Sauv 341/RG, right Merlot 181/RG, left

CF back of cluster Clusters must hang free of each other and too many leaves

Rootstocks can help (101-14 on left, 1103 P on right)

Use more than one rootstock • Riparia Gloire (slows vigor in Cab Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc) • 101-14 • 3309 C

Keep track of the variables

Clones mattter

Old Calif CF clone

California #2?(left), France #210? (right)

California (left), France (right)

Some ENTAV Cabernet Sauvignon clones as evaluated in Bordeaux Variety

Clon e


Cabernet Sauv


C. productive, wines well structured and balanced when yields controlled

Cabernet Sauv


A. Small, tight cluster. Not thick skin. Floral. Low pyrazine.

Cabernet Sauv


A. Superior. Med to superior. Small, tight cluster. Not thick skin. Forward fruit. Low tannin. Young leaves >bronze. LR2

Cabernet Sauv


A. Superior. Loose cluster. Small berries. Thick skin. Typical Cab vigor. tannic, lower pyrazine. Shorter vegetative cycle. LR2

Cabernet Sauv


B. Medium. Loose cluster. Small berries but larger than 337.. Typical Cab vigor. Thick skin, tannic, more pyrazine, red fruit. “Good behavior on 5 BB. No LrR2

Cabernet Sauv


C. Medium. Vigorous. No LR2

Cabernet Sauv


B. Medium. Regular. Loose cluster with slightly larger berries than 337 or 338. Thickest skin. Typical Cab vigor. Tannic, spicy mod. pyrazine. LR2

Cabernet Sauv


Loire Valley selection, very early maturity



Production clones. Big clusters and berries.



A. SuperiorLowest skin/juice ratio. Smallest berries, loosest clusters. Thick skin. Most tannic. Resin, tar. Backbone.



B. Superior.



C. Medium.



B. Medium. Lower vigor.



A. Superior. Juicy, thinner skin, less tannic. Largest cluster. Med-lrg berry. Most fruit forward.



B. Med to superior. Vigorous. Larger berries & cluster. Good skin-pulp ratio. Deep color, velvet, floral-violet. Lower yielding.



A. Medium. Juicy, thinner skin, less tannic. Larger berrycluster. Herbal-lavender & mint. Most tangy, spicy.



B. Medium. Superior polyphenols.



Unranked. “nominally distributed” in France


# 519

C. Medium.

You can do it, but can you thrive?

The Bordeaux reds work well here but diversification of product is important too from Steve Madey, Hague Winery, VA The Rosé is a big hit in the tasting room….and it may not be famous, but sells well. • I’m reminded of a favorite sign in a Baton Rouge restaurant (Phil’s Oyster Bar) “We are aren’t world famous for anything, but business is good”