After ten years of waiting, I finally got the little vineyard ready for harvest. First I had planted the cuttings, then I had to wait to afford the enclosure materials. In the meantime the vines sat unter 'cages' to protect them from deer.
About two years ago I put up the support wires and began training the vines and trimming....and more trimming....and more trimming of the prolific leaves.You have to trim away all that foliage to increase the grape yield.
The plants had gone years without watering in the summers, just a heavy mulch of cardboard and some manure. I was able to water the vines this year since the well was up and running half way thru the summer- before that the grape harvest was too pitiful to do much with.
These two elements of heavy trimming and watering enabled me to harvest my first crop of grapes in 2022. My neighbor came over and after cracking open some decent red wine we harvested it all in about 2 hours. She even stayed to de-stem the four boxes.
It's been so long since I planted I forgot the strain. But I believe they are marguerette vines. A pinot noir hybrid made for climates like the Northwest. It can go to -36F and mine lived in virtually drought conditions. Our Short hot seasons with lots of moisture in the spring and fall can be hard on grapes. They are high in sugar, so even though I harvested early, they came in high on the hydrometer test.
I was able to harvest four boxes of grapes for the six vines that were producing (the whole vineyard is about 60x25'. Its a good start and not too overwhelming. I bought everything I needed for about $250.00. So I won't have much of an expensive next year. After processing I only have about 4 gallons of wine- and some was spilt (typical of beginner wine making!!!). But I will get more grapes next year and just cleared a new section for more vines.