Putting the Vineyard in “Stinson Vineyards”

2nd-leaf Petit Manseng vines with new vineyard in background.

Our newbie grapes arrived from California early in April, dormant and asleep.  Because a big storm was expected on April 16th, our planter Carl Tinder planned to get in as many dormant plants as possible before the rain.  But when we opened the first box of Sauvignon Blanc Musqué we had a big surprise – they were in pots!  This meant they were live plants and much fragile than the dormant ones.  They’d have to plant them right away.  We were grateful for the threat of rain or we might have left these fragile plants in the box for days, thinking they were dormant.

Musqué is a mutated variety of a regular clone that generally indicates it is highly aromatic.  We’ll be mixing the Sauvignon Blanc Musqué in with our regular Sauv Blanc grapes to make a delicious, signature blend.  And of course fermenting it in our 2700 lb baby, the Nomblot Concrete Egg.


Protecting the newbies with milk cartons; Flagging holes for vines.

The other varieties we planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and more Petit Manseng.  One nursery sent 50 “mystery grapes” by mistake – unlabeled and unaccounted for vines.  We planted them in pots and once we figure out what they are they’ll be available for purchase in our Tasting Room, just in case you want to give small scale viticulture a try!

The roots of the young plants were dipped  in BioOrganics’ Endomycorrhizal Inoculant, which contains 8 proven types of beneficial fungi.  It helps to add vigor and disease resistance, as well as improving the soil for future crops.

Carl had to make holes for the Musqué in our Sauvignon Blanc block.  Everyone helped throw a shovelful of well rotted compost in the hole from the small tractor.  The soil was much easier to dig than last year when we had to plant the Petit Manseng in red clay that had been disturbed and compacted.  Most of this soil was from pastured fields and hadn’t been disturbed.


BioOrganics’ Endomycorrhizal Inoculant; Buckwheat sprouting in between rows. 

After the big rain on the 16th of April we had nearly a month’s worth of rain every three days, which is good for newbies and especially the guys in pots.  The rest of the dormant newbies were planted in between rains when the soil dried out a bit.  Many were planted in a light drizzle, their roots soaking up some MaxiCrop (a natural, seaweed fertilizer) in a bucket of water before being put into the soil.  Thanks to Carl and his crew for getting it all done!

The grass between plants in the row will be killed off with Roundup.  In some spots in between rows we planted a mixture of grass and buckwheat, where bare soil exists.  Remembering the blistering heat last May, we hope the sparsely planted buckwheat will provide a little shade from newly sprouted grass, acting as a “nurse crop” for the grass.

The Petit Manseng as of early May.

Meanwhile, the small block of Petit Manseng that we planted last year is growing like crazy!  We’ll leave some of the fruit on and harvest a (very) small crop from it this fall.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: