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The big winegrape harvest AND Get to know your fruit buds!


By DavidS


This year has been a great productive season for wine grapes in the UK; not only in commercial vineyards, but also for those who, like me, grow winegrapes in our gardens. After a very mild winter and early spring, with no hard frosts to damage them, my vines flowered and set fruit 3-4 weeks early, giving an almost perfect growing season.This enabled harvesting to begin 3-4 weeks early.

I harvested my Solaris white grapes on Sept 18th, and my reds, Regent, and Kempsey Black, on Oct 5th; the total crop was 95 pounds from 13 fruiting vines. This will produce, 24 bottles of red, 12 bottles of pink, and 6 bottles of white!


Some GoY members, new to vine-growing seem to be having problems with pruning thier vines, resulting in a small crop the following season; (usually the fault of “OH”
or another third party!) Most people who have this problem, have been told been told to “prune-back hard!”
Yes, vines will need to have a lot of the growth cut away in the autumn-winter pruning; however if you do not leave some of this year’s growth with next season’s fruit-buds on, YOU WILL NOT GET ANY GRAPES NEXT YEAR!

Look at your vines; the brown pencil-thick “canes” with plump buds (where the leaf falls off) is next-years fruit bud, If your vine has produced canes 3-4ft long retain these, by tying them horizontally, or if you only have shorter canes, cut these back leaving 2-4 buds on each spur; this is “spur-puning” See pictures, so that you know what your fruit-buds look like!!!!!

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Your blogs make me wish for vines! But they wouldn't like it here.

22 Oct, 2014


I have the most unruly grape vine ever...It was the first thing I ever planted 22 years ago..99p in took 20 years for us to realise it was a red grape...never ripened before..but this year it has gone mad red grapes all over which are sweet enough to eat. but they are still only half you think they will carry on ripening?

23 Oct, 2014


Lets hope the weather stays good enough for them Sandra!

23 Oct, 2014


I have been munching them every day Stera..can't believe they taste so nice.:-)

23 Oct, 2014


Very informative David ,I have one vine it was given to me a couple of years ago the only problem is I haven't a clue as to its name it remains to be seen in the future if it fruits if so I'll be coming back to your blogs for advice , Thank you !
I forgot to say what a wonderful crop you have ...

24 Oct, 2014


David , what a wonderful crop !
I'm not surprised , having seen the way that you tend your vines ; and just look at your wine .
I was saying to OH today , I wonder how David's harvest is going . Amazing . ( He said , being a Welsh man himself, that you should be called Dai Vine , or Dai Vintage .)
Well done .

24 Oct, 2014


You hav been, very loyal to your vine, over the years,
as many people are; many of the vines sold in shops, and garden centres, are not suitable for our climate. It makes my "my blood boil" when I see vines on sale, or in adverts, saying "Have your own vines, make wine to impress your friends" they send, or offer, vines, like Riesling Cab.Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, or even worse,
just called "Red Vine and White Vine" which have no chance of ripening in the UK. It is a con! You don't say if your vine is growing in a green house, or in the garden; or if you have, over the years, had problems with fungal disease -
Powdery Mildew, or Botrytis; if you have not, it may be worth giving it one more season. One reason why vines do not ripen, is over-cropping; so I suggest that you prune it back, taking off most of this year's growth, leaving, 6-10ft of ripe fruiting canes, tying them down horizontaly. To be honest Sandra, my gut-feeling is that if your vine has not ripened a crop this in almost perfect season, it never will!

25 Oct, 2014


it is in the ground but it is a very dry area David. this year my hubby put sunflowers in big pots in front of it and watered them all summer. i think that along with the sunshine the extra water helped and next year i will water them more. now i have tasted their delights i will look after them better next year.
as for pruning...the main stem is over 20 feet long and the whole plant looks so healthy but the pruning thing needs to be addressed..thank you for the advice.:-)

26 Oct, 2014


great read very informative

26 Jan, 2015

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