|The art of growing grapes|
Take Sakonnet Vineyards http://www.sakonnetwine.com/ 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 www.newenglandwinegazette.com. Also check out a previous post regarding the Savor Mass Initiative Wine and Cheese trail at http://bilowzassociates.blogspot.com/2009/07/savor-mass-initiative.html
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