We can’t believe that harvest is wrapping up here at the winery, and we are already starting to plan for the winter ahead, and 2021 — the work is truly never finished. This year has been unpredictable for many reasons, but at least we could predict that winter was on its way, like it is every year here in Prince Edward County. It has been a pretty mild November, but we have already faced a few days of snow and below freezing temperatures, and that means it is time to protect our vines.
In Prince Edward County, and other cool climate wine regions, there are typically two ways you can get your vineyard ready for winter and protect your vines from the cold — covering them with geotextiles or burying the vines, also known as “hilling-up”. At Traynor, we prefer to cover our vines with the geotextiles.
Geotextiles vs. Hilling-Up
In climates where we can experience pretty severe and harsh winter temperatures, the vines are unable to survive without some form of protection. At Traynor we cover our vines with geotextiles, which means the vines are covered and insulated in order to protect them from freeze injury during the winter.
The other common option is hilling-up, which means the vines are buried with soil in order to insulate and protect them. Every vineyard has their own preferred method, and might even be experimenting year to year to see how it impacts the fruit — meaning you might see vineyards who practice both forms of protection.
With hilling-up there is more opportunity for soil damage by burying and unburying the vines each year, as well as the loss of buds and rot, especially if it is a wet spring. Many grape growers in Ontario have started experimenting with geotextiles for these particular reasons, and we have seen success with the use of them in Prince Edward County.
It’s all about racking, filtering and bottling the wine that’s been harvested this year. There are quite a few new bottles the team is excited to release this year, in addition to some classic favourites finally returning to the shelves.
Stay tuned for what happens next at Traynor, as we wind down for the winter and get ready to bottle some of the newest creations! For real time updates be sure to follow along @traynorvineyard.