BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Art of Growing Grapes

The art of growing grapes
In recent years, New England has seen an upsurge of vineyards and the promotion of wine trails. While becoming popular destinations for many, these vineyards produce some impressive wines. Traveling the path to find these wineries is half the fun.

Take Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton, RI, part of the Southeastern New England Coastal Wine Trail. Founded in 1975, Sakonnet's expansive vineyards and coastal farming location is par to any West Coast rival. Sakonnet produces some phenomenal wines and amazingly, it is all done without any irrigation.

Spending an afternoon with the manager of the vineyards, you find that the art of growing grapes is as much intuitive as it is applying proven methodologies. Understanding how grapes grow and what keeps them healthy takes years of experience in a vineyard and hours of reading and researching the latest products.

To promote healthy growth and vigor in these gnarly vines, you need lots of heat and sunshine. With this summer's weather, it's been tough to stay on top of the vine's nutrient requirements. Insects, fungus and disease become tricky territory to treat; one size does not fit all. You need dry weather and dry foliage to spray, a juggling act especially when some applications restrict access to the vineyard for days. So how do you keep up with pruning and thinning in this compressed growing season?

Yikes. That's a lot of work to produce grapes for a bottle of wine! Never underestimate the art of growing grapes.

For a useful source to find information on New England wineries and events, check out Also check out a previous post regarding the Savor Mass Initiative Wine and Cheese trail at

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)