Wine grapes 2021

This is the third season for our grapes. Given that our yard faces north, and is in a bit of a valley, I was concerned that we would not have the proper conditions for growing wine grapes. Fortunately year two for the grapes was successful. Itasca hit brix in late August, and Petite Pearl/Crimson Pearl in early September. We live in the front range of Colorado so there are some challenges to growing grapes here. We have 25 Vines growing. All vines have grapes this year so it will be interesting to see when everything ripens.

Currently in the vineyard:
Itasca - vigorous, but few clusters
Lacrosse - vigorous with many clusters
Brianna - vigorous, large grapes!

Reds…just going through varaision now:
Petite Pearl - many clusters, small grapes
Crimson Pearl - vigorous with many clusters
Verona - few clusters, huge grapes
Marquette - vigorous with many clusters


Brianna makes a really delicious fruity wine. Lots of fruit flavor, but not “Welchy”. The others I have not tried…yet, but all are getting excellent reviews from northern growers. Many of these are very early budding, particularly Marquette, so I expect late frosts are one of your biggest challenges.

No Frontenac? Frontenac is one of my favorites. Sounds like you have a good mix of hardy wine grapes however. Colorado front range? Does that mean Eastern Colorado where the soil pH is super high?

Neat to see all the netting for bird control. How bad do the wasps get as your grapes get ripe?

Which ones are late and good for frost prone regions?

Soil PH here is 7.2 and everything seems to be growing without a problem. Not sure about wasps yet however…we will see if they become a problem later I’m the season. I have been picking about 3-5 JBs off the vines daily starting this week. I feel fortunate that they are not too bad.

Marquette flowered the same time as the other varieties. I started with one vine on a trial basis and added several more this year once it looked like it could dodge a late frost …not sure if it was just luck or something else. Everything seems to flower in mid to late May if I recall correctly.

I’ll need to start keeping better records going forward. My main concern was whether the grapes ripen in time befor the last frost. Verona is my biggest concern so I’ll be keeping a close eye on its brix later in the season.

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@danCO sounds interesting! My climate is just downstream from you here in kansas so I will be interested in what your experiments find out! :slight_smile:

Version is just about complete on the reds which may put out harvest 30-45 days from now. This should be good enough to dodge the October frost.

Brix on most of the grapes is sitting at about 10. Itasca and Marquette are just shy of 20 brix however…I was assuming they would ripen later than the others, but that doesn’t look to be the case.





Petite Pearl


Crimson Pearl


Wow! I love your set up! With the rocks behind!? So neat!


Do you have any muscat wine grapes that I could get cuttings from?

Sorry, I’m only growing hybrids. Muscat would also not be viable in my climate.


There are Muscat hybrids that are hardy.

how are your itasca this year? i planted some vines a few years back and they all died the first winter… are yours producing better now? do you have any pictures or updated thoughts on this variety?

That’s strange. Itasca is supposed to be pretty hardy. Did the vines completely die, or just die to the roots. If they completely died then maybe they weren’t planted deep enough?

My Itasca are doing just ok. They don’t seem to be as vigorous as some of the other grapes. We had a rough winter so there are not many grape clusters this year. I did plant some additional vines in another location. They seem to be growing much better, but are only beginning to produce grapes. In my case, I’m thinking the location may be playing a factor.

I planted them in newly worked ground and were very vigorous the first year, I think the didnt harden off properly because of that. They grew from 2 year bare root plants to over 12 feet long many of them that first summer. Now that Ive had my trellis up a few years and things have calmed down, id like to try them again maybe, if people like them I guess, they might do better now…