Adding Grapes and Have Some Questions

I heard back form the Double A Vineyards folks whom I bought the Errante Noir vines from.

For the 7 PD resistant varieties UCD developed, spur pruning is recommended

For Errante Noir, the parentage is
50% Sylvaner
12.5% Cabernet sauvignon
12.5 % Carignane
12.5% Chardonnay


Spur pruning is by far easier than cane pruning whether you’re using trellising or on top of an arbor. Grapes will be on the new wood, close to the cuts.


Yes and I’m happy for that. It’s the only training I’ve done, so that’s good.

I have all winter to set up my trellis. I think I’ll train the cordon height pretty low to allow plenty of room for the VSP. Looooong growing season here, so long spur growth.


Having no experience with VSP I can say nothing about that except to say that I prefer for my cordons to be high for mowing purposes. At least 6 feet. Better at 7 feet. Remember that it is normal for the wires to sag due to the weight of the fruit, leaves and new growth. Personally, I like the Geneva double curtain system. At least some variant of.

How do you pan to design the end posts?

So with vertical shoot positioning the fruit is supported well very near the cordon. 32 inches above grade is normal.

All shoot growth is above this so no mowing issues.

In my area with such a long growing season I will need to trim the top of the shoots to keep the overall shoot length to a certain height to reduce vigor.

Also for warmer areas they recommend cover crops to take some of the soil resources and reduce vigor…

It’s going to be a battle for me to find the right sun exposure, and since I’m going to be guessing at this thing being a compete noob to what is needed for a decent wine… All I know I can measure is brix and I guess acid. No laboratory here.

Here is a photo example of VSP.

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It’s more confusing as I try to read about the direct sunlight needs for a wine grape.

Obviously the leaves need sun to do their thing, but I’m reading the grapes themselves can get too much sun.

Then I read the direct sunlight is needed.

I then see plenty of photos of commercial production with grape bunches in bags on the vine. Maybe those are table grapes?

I can see it taking several years to try to figure out what makes a better wine…or just a drinkable one… … What balance I need.

Since I’m only growing 7 vines, I can endeavor to create any sun exposure situation I need, if I only can figure out what that is.

Positioning of leaves, thinning or not, shade cloth over the grapes, bags that can act as partial shade for the bunches and protect the fruit at the same time.

Etc, etc, etc.


I hope you ordered grafted vines. Vinifera near the Gulf will have a whole lot of major issues besides PD. These Walker selections don’t have any disease resistance other than PD, and no resistance to phylloxera.


They are grafted on 1103P.

I’ve grown grape vines before here. They may not have been the healthiest plants but they survived and produced fruit.

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I assumed you did, just wanted to make sure others reading this are aware of the issues. Hope they work out for you.


Two of those produces white wine. Can you guess which two? :grinning:

BTW, Errante Noir produces red wine.

I’ve been on a muscadine wine kick here of late. Just yesterday I purchased a bottle of white muscadine wine. Supposedly fermented from the Carlos variety. I find that the white is much tastier than the red although the red is said to be the healthier.

I’ve got a Carlos variety planted just this year.


The first and last are white grapes, but all 4 can be used to make white wine. Many red grapes can be gently pressed for white juice before fermentation.


Indeed it’s the time you keep the skin in the must that determines how dark red the wine gets for most red skinned grapes.

Some are red fleshed and thus red juice as well, like Black Spanish, so you can’t get a clear color from any wine with that variety in it.

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That is really impressive if you answered without looking it up. Sylvaner which is white makes up 50% of the total yet the resulting Errante Noir produces red wine. At least Errante Noir when I looked it up it was red.

When I say white or red, I’m referring to the wine rather than the color of the grape.


Indeed but of course except for red fleshed grapes, you need the non-white skin to get color in the wine.

Many white wines are made from red skinned grapes, like Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris).

I wonder how long it took for people to figure out a colored skin grape makes a better wine as a white…


Learn something new every day!

I’ve always thought that rose colored wine was made from a blend of red grapes and white grapes, but I am guessing now that is not exactly true either.

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I’m sure a rose colored wine can be made that way by mixing, but all you need to do is let the skins stay in contact with the must for a short period of time and remove at the color you want. The pigment in the skins color the juice. Of course you are also adding some tannins as you do so.


Everyone knows Chardonnay and Cab Sauv. I only knew about Sylvaner because it was mentioned along with several other grapes when I was recently in Germany doing some wine tasting!


Great… Now I’m thinking of Geneva Double Curtain trellis

I wonder how many times I’ll go back and forth before spring.

I just talked about reducing vigor for VSP when I should have looked at GDC instead. It would be a much messier look while growing as the shoots would naturally trail down. I’d have to give it a mop cut from time to time.

If I didn’t already mention, one issue I have with all the vacillation about sun exposure is the vines will be running east-west instead of north-south.

That doubles the possible sun exposure on the grapes, thus the reason I’m thinking about it. All the stuff I’m reading online assumes north-south rows.


Vertical Shoot Positioning is like Beaker on the Muppets

Geneva Double Curtain is like Brandon Fraser in Encino Man



Why not build a 24’x12’x10’ arbor and then let the vines grow to whatever direction that they damn well please?

You have just ordered 7 vines which is the exact number of vines that I had growing on my arbor. 6 growing up each post and then one growing in the middle.

Cedar and wire grape arbor

Maybe I am being a little facetious. :face_with_diagonal_mouth: