Growing wine grapes

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Srimmey

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My wife and I are thinking about starting a trellis of grapes this spring, we are contemplating growing Sauvignon blanc grapes. It will be a single row, probably 12-20 feet, depending on how much yard space I can convince her to spare.

I’ve done a fair amount of research and I feel these grapes are a good fit for my climate, I live in the willamette valley of oregon. An alternate choice for me would be pino noir.

Before I embark on this endeavor, I wanted to ask you guys a few questions about these guys.

1. How long do these grapes take to start producing a decent amount of fruit? My goal would be to get 5 gallons of must per year + more for the kids, chickens and wild birds.

2. How are they for table grapes? Are the ridiculously sweet? I read that the grape must will make wine between 12.5-14% abv. Does that mean the SG of the juice is 1.095+ or do wine makers add sugar to their must?

3. How resistant to disease are they? I also have peach trees, cherries, apples and pears. The peach and cherry have disease issues due to neglect from past owners. I refuse to take them down though because they are such good producers.

P.S. the pears and apples are all slated for cider next year. The kids can keep the cherries.
 

mashpaddled

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I can't speak to questions about the variety or diseases in your area but I have a couple wine grapevines I put in spring 2020 so they have a couple years on them. It takes a few years before you'll start seeing production. They are slow growing plants and you want to shape them the first few years so you have better production once they are fully grown. Depending on your trellis plan and the size of the root system when you buy the plants that can be 2-4 years.

A mature vine will typically produce around seven pounds of fruit which will produce 2-3 bottles of wine. With 5 bottles to a gallon, you'll likely need ten vines just to produce five gallons of must plus more for chickens, kids, pests. I have a serious squirrel problem but if you have a lot of birds or squirrels in the area you might lose a lot of production to them. If your other fruit make it ok, it might not be an issue.
 
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Srimmey

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I can't speak to questions about the variety or diseases in your area but I have a couple wine grapevines I put in spring 2020 so they have a couple years on them. It takes a few years before you'll start seeing production. They are slow growing plants and you want to shape them the first few years so you have better production once they are fully grown. Depending on your trellis plan and the size of the root system when you buy the plants that can be 2-4 years.

A mature vine will typically produce around seven pounds of fruit which will produce 2-3 bottles of wine. With 5 bottles to a gallon, you'll likely need ten vines just to produce five gallons of must plus more for chickens, kids, pests. I have a serious squirrel problem but if you have a lot of birds or squirrels in the area you might lose a lot of production to them. If your other fruit make it ok, it might not be an issue.
Thank you! Based off what you said I will try and aim for 12-15 vines. Never hurts to have extra and we can always just brew a little more!
 

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