Vineyard Plan

Deazley Beverage Company

Michael Deazley

Objective

This is a plan for a vineyard whose purpose is to provide the Deazley Beverage Company (DBC) with enough grapes to meet the 10000L Minimum Production Capacity to get their winery permit. More importantly, this vineyard is meant to produce gapes for the development of a DBC Tidal Bay wine.

The DBC has no plans to become Certified Organic, though many of its practices may be similar. It is more concerned with the frequency of spraying and the safety of what is sprayed than whether or not it is a synthetic substance.

Site Assessment
Location

The DBC has chosen to be located on the Eastern Shore, and this vineyard will be located on-site at the Head of Ship Harbour

Climate

According to maps acquired from Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture's (NSFA) website, under the AgriRisk project, Ship Harbour has approxiamately 850-900 Growing-Degree Days (GDD) and 230-240 Frost-Free Days (FFD). The higher FFD may make up for the slightly low GDD, especially as Ship Harbour is generally warmer and sunnier than the surrounding communities.

The main concern regarding the climate is the fog. The frequent days with cool, moist air could prove problematic when it comes to managing mildews.

The first map shows GDD values for Nova Scotia, while the second shows FFD values. Both maps have the rough location of Ship Harbour marked with a red dot.

Slope

The above map shows theplanned vineyard site on a topographical map. The aspect of the slope is generally southerly, though it varies east and west slightly. It rises about 45m over 216m, giving it an average slope of about 21%.

Soil

This map identifies the soil type as Gibraltar, or sandy loam derived from granite. This has good to excessive drainage, so no tile drain will be required. The issue is that this is excessively stony and considered too stony for cultivation. It is also a granite ridge, so there are areas where the layer of soil is not very deep. An alternate training system may be required if the soil is less than three feet deep.

Neighbours

Looking at this map again, we see that three adjoining properties are private land, and the rest of the surrounding property is part of the Tangier Grand Lake Wilderness Area. The proposed vineyard is significantly smaller than the lot it will be situated on, though, so there shouldn't be any problems.

Wildlife

Being surrounded by a Wilderness Area, there will be wildlife. Most notably, there will be deer, raccoons, bears, squirrels, and rabbits. A deer fence will be necessary, and if bears find the vineyard in the fall, it may become necessary to add an electric fence. For the rest, a significant population of barn cats and regular patrols by working dogs should help.

Current State

The land was clear-cut about forty years ago and not touched since. This means that on top of the boulders strewn everywhere, it is also covered in fair sized sugar maple, white pine, birch, and spruce.

Site Preparation
Clearing

The trees will need to be cut, the stumps and roots pulled out, and boulders relocated before work on the actual vineyard can begin.

Grape Varieties

The above table shows the allowable content of a Tidal Bay wine. The DBC wants only hybrids, so from these varieties, L'Acadie Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Geisenheim 318, Frontenac Gris, Petit Milo, Frontenac Blanc, Traminette, and New York Muscat were selected.

Geisenheim 318
  • Moderately Winter Hardy
  • Ripens in late September in Nova Scotia
L'Acadie Blanc
  • Very cold hardy, surviving temperatures in the -22C to -25C range
  • Ripens early to mid season
Seyval Blanc
  • Moderately cold hardy, surviving temperatures in the -23C to -26C range
  • Buds early
  • Matures early
  • One hundred days from bloom to harvest
  • Midseason harvest
  • Moderately vigorous
  • Semi-upright growth habit
Vidal Blanc
  • Very Winter Hardy
  • Ripens in mid-season
Frontenac Blanc
  • Extremely cold hardy, can withstand winter temperatures of -30C
  • Early budbreak
  • Late ripening
  • Very vigorous
  • Semi-trailing growth habit
Frontenac Gris
  • Early budbreak
  • Midseason ripening
  • Moderately high vigor
  • Slightly upright and open growth habit
  • Three clusters per shoot typical
  • Very winter hardy, to at least -37C
Petit Milo
  • Very early ripening (only needs 150 FFD)
  • Vigorous
  • Upright growth habit
  • Very winter hardy
New York Muscat
  • Moderately vigorous vine
  • 155 day growing season
  • Medium hardiness
Traminette
  • Bloom midseason
  • Moderately vigorous semi-upright growth habit
  • Good cold hardiness (-26C)
  • Late budbreak
  • One-hundred ten days from bloom to harvest
  • Late midseason harvest (Mid-September in Iowa, Mid-October in New York)
  • Moderately hardy (-23C to -26C)
Vineyard Layout
Calculations

Using the approximation of one kilogram of grapes produces one bottle (750mL) of wine, it was determined that 1334kg of grapes will be needed to meet the 10000L minimum production capacity. Assuming three shoots per foot of vine, two clusters per shoot, and 100g per cluster, that means 22223 feet of vines are needed. Given the standard row length limitation of six-hundred feet, that means just over thirty-seven rows are required.

Skipping the math, here are how many rows of each variety:

  1. 5 rows of Geisenheim 318 (1000 vines)
  2. 5 rows of L'Acadie Blanc (1000 vines)
  3. 5 rows of Seyval Blanc (1000 vines)
  4. 5 rows of Vidal Blanc (1000 vines)
  5. 6 rows of Frontenac Blanc (720 vines)
  6. 6 rows of Frontenac Gris (720 vines)
  7. 6 rows of Petit Milo (720 vines)
  8. 3 rows of New York Muscat (450 vines)
  9. 3 rows of Traminette 450 vines)

However, there is a good chance that a Gobelet system will be needed instead of a standard trellis. Given that a grapevine can support 1g of fruit for every 16cm2 of leaf area, I calculated the surface area of the cone I imagine training the vines to. This resulted in the estimate of 2kg of grapes per vine, therefore roughly 6587 vines will be needed. In this case, I would be planting a different number of each variety:

  1. 717 Geisenheim 318
  2. 717 L'Acadie Blanc
  3. 717 Seyval Blanc
  4. 717 Vidal Blanc
  5. 912 Frontenac Blanc
  6. 912 Frontenac Gris
  7. 912 Petit Milo
  8. 495 New York Muscat
  9. 495 Traminette
Training Systems

With the Gobelet system, a 3.2m pole would be used in place of a stake, with 0.6m embedded in the ground. From the top would be hung a ring with a radius of 0.5m, so that it takes the place of the fruiting wire 0.6m above the ground. It would be trained to have branching vines coming from the trunk, leaving twelve spurs. Four other rings would be hung along the wires, evenly spaced, of radii 0.4m, 0.3m, 0.2m, and 0.1m. These would allow the shoots to be trained to the resulting cone eacy year.

Here is a crude rendering of the Gobelet cone with a winter-pruned vine:

Trellis Materials

The above costs were calculated using a price sheet from Scotian Gold.

Main Vineyard Equipment

The DBC believes in the meditative Zen of manual labour and repetitive tasks. While a backpack sprayer, lawn tractor, and heavy line-trimmer may be adequate to manage six acres, recommendations will still be made.

  • A tractor with a width of under six feet
  • Hitch-mounted recycling sprayer
  • Hitch-mounted hedger
References