Barbera is planted

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Barbera is planted

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:11 pm

Last year on the old WLDG, I mentioned that I was putting in a home vineyard in Southern Maryland and plan to try a number of different varieties to see if anything will work in our high humidity 3700 degree growing season conditions. There are numerous potential problems but the ones that I am most concerned with are deer, mildew, and rot. Some had asked for updates so here is the first but there is not much to tell yet. The Barbera has been in for a month now and it seems that all 25 vines are off to a good start. Too early to tell much else. Have reduced the planned varieties down from 12 to an initial 8. Plan is to add Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Tannat, Syrah, Sangiovese, Aglanico, and Montepulciano next year then evaluate adding others.

Spacing is meter by meter. Soil is graverly silt with minimal fertility. The pH was adjusted up from 5.5. Drainage ranges from adequate to good in the small plot. Rootstock is 101-14.
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Paul B. » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:35 pm

Wow, Brian ... what a great adventure!!

Will you be getting any crop this year, or did you pinch off the flower heads to give the vines a strong start in the first year?

Hope you can post some photos sometime.
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm

Sounds Great! I started my vineyard last year with 4 rows, 7 ft between vines, 8 ft. between rows and 22 vines per row. I have one row each of Chambourcin, and Vignoles and half rows of Cayuga, Vidal, Leon Millot and Traminette. All are hybrids growing on their own roots. I have sandy clay with poor drainage. We'll have to meet up in a few years and compare our "Estate Bottlings". :P
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Carl Eppig » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:03 pm

Sounds great. Those are some of our favorite grapes, and we have friends in Maryland to visit.
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:11 pm

Paul, No grapes this year. Maybe a small crop next year but will wait and see how they come through the winter and decide. I could take some picutures but nothing much to get exicted about at this stage. I guess I should just as reference.
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Paul B. » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:27 pm

Howie Hart wrote:Sounds Great! I started my vineyard last year with 4 rows, 7 ft between vines, 8 ft. between rows and 22 vines per row. I have one row each of Chambourcin, and Vignoles and half rows of Cayuga, Vidal, Leon Millot and Traminette. All are hybrids growing on their own roots. I have sandy clay with poor drainage. We'll have to meet up in a few years and compare our "Estate Bottlings". :P

Howie, as I've said in the past, I really admire what you're doing. I would love to see your vineyard when it comes into production. It's always been an inspiration for me whenever I see backyard vineyards in our part of the world. It's just such a civilized and cultured pursuit - and the wines truly are "estate" wines: your own private, or family, estate. I think it's a great "small step" towards the building of a wine culture in our part of the world using climatically suitable grapes, and I applaud it.
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Victorwine » Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:59 pm

Hi Brian,
Thanks for the excellent report and good luck!

Salute
P.S. No Dolcetto?
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby James Roscoe » Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:06 pm

Brian,
What part of Southern Maryland? I live in Bowie, but I've worked in both Leonardtown and Waldorf. I know the area pretty well. Judging from the gravel, I'm assumming you're down in St. Mary's. You shouldn't have a problem with winters down there, but the rain in September could be a killer. Keep us up to date and let me know where you hang out. We could get together sometime.
Cheers!
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby TimMc » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:41 pm

Barbera is a very nice pasta wine.


I wish you well with the harvest. :D
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Brian Gilp » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:24 pm

What part of Southern Maryland?


About 5 miles east of La Plata down route 6. Almost halfway between La Plata and 5 North.

Rain is a major concern since we average 43 inches a year and figure that the September rains will prove to be an issue.
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Brian Gilp » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:35 pm

P.S. No Dolcetto?


Not initially. I am concerned that the heat, humidity, and rain where I am is going to be too much for this early ripening grape that is known to be prone to fungus.
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby TimMc » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:49 pm

What is the growing to harvest time?
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Brian Gilp » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:36 am

What is the growing to harvest time?


Not sure I understand exactly what you are asking. The frost free period is on average 185-192 days starting in the second to third week of April and lasting until the third week of October. However, it is the heat that worries me more. We have on average 3700 degree days and the nights stay fairly warm. Concerned that will force ever earlier ripening and reduction in acidity.
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:05 pm

Brian,
October would be early for a frost in Charles County. I would guess the average first frost is usually in November sometime. The heat and rain are your biggest issues. The gravelly soils should help down there though. Keep us all posted.

I also occassionally do some free tasings for some of the larger distributers in the state in LaPlata and Waldorf. I'll let you know when the next one is scheduled.
Cheers!
James
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby Clinton Macsherry » Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:58 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:Have reduced the planned varieties down from 12 to an initial 8. Plan is to add Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Tannat, Syrah, Sangiovese, Aglanico, and Montepulciano next year then evaluate adding others.


Wishing you loads of good fortune, Brian. Not sure if this came up when you posted on the old WLDG, but I think Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia has done a lot of work with Italian varieties. While the Charlottesville area may differ in significant ways from Charles County, they might be inclined to share some lessons learned.


To James Roscoe [I haven't figured out how to double quote in a single post]:
Please tell me more about these tastings you host!
FEAR THE TURTLE ! ! !
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:36 pm

Clinton,
I haven't figure out how to single quote so you're ahead of me. Is there some sort of tutorial I've been ignoring here? Maybe Robin can point it out again so I can continue to ignore it.
Cheers!
James

P.S. Did you get my message?
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby TimMc » Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:31 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:
What is the growing to harvest time?


Not sure I understand exactly what you are asking. The frost free period is on average 185-192 days starting in the second to third week of April and lasting until the third week of October. However, it is the heat that worries me more. We have on average 3700 degree days and the nights stay fairly warm. Concerned that will force ever earlier ripening and reduction in acidity.


I was just interested in how the viticulture compares to that of California in terms of how much time one has to cultivate, harvest then crush the grapes. In California we have an extended growing period and I was wondering how it works back East if, in fact, there is any difference at all.

Where I live, the grapes begin growing in February then harvest starts in August and runs through the end of October. I see you have a little less time to work with...can that be a problem logistcally and how will it affect the wine?
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Re: Barbera is planted

Postby James Roscoe » Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:21 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:
What part of Southern Maryland?


About 5 miles east of La Plata down route 6. Almost halfway between La Plata and 5 North.

Rain is a major concern since we average 43 inches a year and figure that the September rains will prove to be an issue.


That's the country. Any Amish farmers out your way? Do you get down to the Charlotte Hall farmer's market?

What are you doing in that neck of the woods? Are you a native or are you working down on Pax River?
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