So, What are we Growing Anyway?

Since I don’t live right at our vineyard, I try to make it there with my kids to work at least 2 days a week…sometimes we make it more and sometimes not. 🙂  But, every time I come, the vines literally look different every time.  They have just taken off and are literally growing like weeds!  The weeds are having a hard time keeping up. 🙂

A lot of people ask us what type of grapes, or varieties, we are growing.  So, I thought I’d just touch on what we have growing in our vineyard, and I’m sure you’ll hear a lot more about each variety as we go!

We have 6 varieties planted on a little over 2 acres.  We have 3 red grape varieties, and 3 white varieties.  They are cold hardy grapes that can handle our cold, Iowa winters.  The grapes that are grown in California would not stand a chance here.

On the west side of our vineyard near the highway is Marquette.  Marquette is a newer grape, and not a lot of wine has been produced from this grape yet.  It is a red grape, and it grows like crazy.  It is our most vigorous grape and has been since the day we planted it.

Next to the Marquette is La Crescent.  It is a white grape, and we currently have 200 vines planted.  We chose to plant more La Crescent and Marquette than the others, and so far, they are doing well.

In the middle of our vineyard is Frontenac and Frontenac Gris.  Frontenac is another red variety, and Gris is a white variety, although it actually is a pinker, or blush-looking grape.  But, it is considered  a white grape in the vineyard and winery.

And, on the east side, near the cornfield,  are Marechel Foch and Brianna.  We planted less than 100 Foch plants since there a lot of people growing this grape already.  It is a red variety that is often blended with other grapes.  And, Brianna rounds out our 6 varieties currently.  It is a white variety that is also growing very well.  We’re excited about this grape and have hopes of making some good white wine(s) out of it!

It’s funny how my mom and I tend to work in the vineyard.  I seem to always want to start on the west side in the Marquette, and she tends to start on the east side in the Brianna.  So, I guess we balance each other out because we make sure each side is doing well!  By the time we get to the middle, we’re usually pretty tired.  But, we have the sandbox down at the bottom of the vineyard for Landon and Ella, so getting to the middle is motivation because then I can have Landon out there with me while I work and he digs like Papa with his diggers! 🙂

Well, that’s a very brief introduction into what we have growing currently…and, we know now that we can grow grapes.  It’s a matter of controlling them that is the harder task!

I always want to try to throw some photos in here because they are fun to see.  The top photo is from Kelly, and is a picture of Mom from last summer with our first year vines!  I’m just guessing that is a photo of a Gris vine based on where she is in the vineyard…but, it’s just a guess.  I don’t have a PhD in viticulture, though I’m guessing in a few more years, I’ll be able to identify our varieties just by a photograph. 

And, the last photo is a picture of Kelly last summer as well.  She has made an AMAZING scrapbook of Glyn Mawr Vineyard, starting from the beginning.  So, someday, we hope to display it in our winery.  We just need to remember to keep taking pictures for her…it’s seems easy, but we tend to forget a lot! 🙂

Til next time!

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