We’re well into summer now, with scorching temperatures and what feels like broken promises of rain, it has been an unpredictable season to say the least — but isn’t it always?
The flowering is officially done on the vines, and we are now in fruit set. That’s right, if you pop by the winery and explore the vineyard you will witness fruit on the vines! The fruit is now out and settling into where it will be while fully developing and getting some weight and acidity to them. They are beautiful little green bunches that symbolize we’re on the right track. This will go on for another few weeks before the grapes start to change colour (yes, every grape starts off green!) and then grow sugar. The work right now is centred around tucking and managing where the growth is happening on the plant, so that the fruit is set in the right zones, and it gets the right amount of sun and wind exposure to reduce mildews and maximize ripening once the sugar starts to develop in August.
Something the team is excited about trying this July is reducing the amount of copper and sulphur sprays being used. Copper and sulphur are really great organic methods to reduce mildews and spores that can damage your vines, but we have been really aggressive with copper sprays in past years, so we have killed off the majority of spores that exist. We have been lucky and haven’t had any issues the past few years, so it’s time to test and see if we can get through July without spraying anymore.
The long-term goal is to reduce the amount of spray we must use to be more sustainable and use less sprays. The permaculture practices that that have been incorporated, such as the chamomile and thyme being planted around the vineyard, have also helped in reducing spores. The hope it to continue planting more of these types of plants that help do the job of the organic sprays, but more naturally. It has been a few years in the making but has been rewarding to see it all come to fruition (literally) over the past year. Wish us luck!
In terms of the season, although there hasn’t been a ton of rain, which some of the plants are not loving, it has also been great for the lack of mildew on the field. The dryer weather means it is not viable for the fungus to grow. The good news is it hasn’t been bad for the vines — they are doing well. We were worried for a bit, but then we got some rain, and now they are thriving. The vines look beautiful and aren’t overwatered and diluted.
Compared to last year, the vines are ahead of where they were, but in the grand scheme of things, they are on pace with what the team would expect this time of year. The Frontenac Gris is especially doing well this year. This fruit typically is a labour of love, for example, last year the team had to thin out the Frontenac Gris since there wasn’t enough nutrients and the vines didn’t grow enough leaves to ripen all the fruit. This year however, the vines look really strong and sturdy, with lots of leaves. In fact, it is some of the best the team has seen, which means some amazing Inclusion Orange this year! Another grape that is doing really well right now is the Marquette — it is as big and bushy as ever, and a great variety to grow in Prince Edward County. In terms of the back fields, there was a fair amount of winter stress on the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, so the team originally thought they wouldn’t be harvesting from it this year, but it looks like there is some nice fruit developing on the Chardonnay and we will be getting some fruit off the vines after all — now what to make with it?
It's an exciting time to come visit the winery in Prince Edward County, with new wine releases, the patio in full swing and the fruit arriving on the vines. We can’t to see you on our patio this summer.
It’s an amazing time to give the winery a visit and sit by the fire while enjoying some delicious wine. Check out @traynorvineyard on social for real-time updates and details about how you can visit.