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Friday, June 1, 2007

Big Vidal

This is a giant Vidal Blanc vine we've got trained along our deck. The twin trunk is 15-feet tall, and if I sprayed this vine more (it's too close to where we eat dinner in the summer to spray too aggressively) I could probably harvest 60+ lbs of fruit off of it. It's seven years old. It often makes me wonder about the possibility of of a vineyard of giant vines spaced at 25-foot intervals. Something interesting to note about this is the fact that the primary shoots on this huge vine were undamaged by the Easter Freeze while other Vidal vines of a similar age but pruned to a 6-foot VSP trellis received heavy frost damage. One would think that the 15-foot trunk would be a liability, not an asset.

Vidal Blanc is probably best known as the basis for some excellent Ontario ice wines and late harvest wines. It's genetic roots trace back to Trebbiano, and it is a versatile and cold hearty hybrid. In this case, this is a decorative vine, and I leave the crop to rot or for the birds. The growing shoots are aromatic this time of year, and they wall off a cozy corner of our deck.


Jamie said...

A vineyard of giant vines - guess it could be one way of getting the vine in balance in a really high vigour situation. I wonder about the evenness of ripening across the whole vine though. Nice thought.

Will said...

I've just discovered this "giant vine" thing. As an arm-chair marginal-climate vinifera grower myself, it is starting to shape up as my latest panacea. Take a look at the minimal pruning entry in your Oxford Companion to Wine, if you have one. Fascinating.

Just found your blog. Good luck out west.

Lester StarCastle, M.D. said...

Read this entry a while ago and came across this related article about single 1/12 acre vine that yielded a ton of ripened fruit. Article suggests that eventually a vine will reach a natural equalibrium where it can ripen its crop and store enough carbs for the winter.

the Winkler Vine

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