Getting there.

I’m excited to see so many bunches, and see them all developing a beautiful rich purple color. I ate one on Sunday- chewed it and spit it out at least. Definitely a grape- bitter- but with a hint of sweetness. Thick skin, flimsy seed.

Good things.

I‘ll close with this shot of the first turned leaf in the vineyard. A short while left for this season.

Annnnd now it’s Summer.

SO the vineyard is doing great! A ton of growth, pretty evenly across the whole yard, row 1 (North Row) is stronger, by about 25%, I have to chalk this up to its full sun and slightly better soil. But we have grapes on all vines!

You can see the evolution here- in their 2nd year fruit us present, and I’m super happy- as the book has said that it might take 3 years.  Either way you can see that from late April- to May we have the first fruit start to develop- tiny bunches of berries . After a month they’ve grown to hearty bunches- and as of just the other day they’re getting ell rounded, heavy and firm- Ill keep updating this as they grow!

And here is the vineyard as of 6/4. You can see the North row #1 (on the right) has quite a bit more volume of branches and leaves. However both rows are still producing well.

Spring has sprung.

So early March I started to see bud-break on all the vines. An amazing site as vines of McMorrow Cellars enter their 2nd year.

This is one of my 3 potted back-yard vines, in 2 weeks they really took off!

March 16th was the magic day, everything started exploding on or directly after that day. 

Now in early April you can see everything has really taken off, huge spurs and new stems all over!

Nice bark all over all stocks.

Tendrils reaching for the guide wires!


SO! It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to update you on McMorrow Cellar’s…partly because not much happened over the Winter months, and partly because we’re expecting our newest addition the cellars- soon the pitter patter of little feet will be heard running through the vines!

Anyway here are a few updates:

This is mid-December- we got a ton of rain which is awesome- so I got to turn the sprinklers off for a few months-  here you see the leaves in full Autumnal turn, and baby greens rising from the fertile soil.

Our left hand-South row- lost their leaves sooner- partially because they never did come in as strong as the North Row- and the gusty winds blew their leaves away faster.

Fall is Here.

So Fall is probably my most favorite time of year. The colors, the weather and the start of the Holidays. SO too now Fall now descends on the vineyard. I am starting to see the leaves change, and an over all slow down of shoot growth as they go into a period of root establishment. This is what the book tells me anyway.

Every vine now has bark, this #7 pictured above has become the most prolific vine in the yard. It’s stalk has thickened quite a bit and its bark is really strong. This is going to fortify it during the coming cooler months and get it through the frosty night’s/mornings of January and February.

I’d now like spend a few moments highlighting some of the other things growing in the vineyard. I left as many of the existing plants/trees/shrubs in their place when I installed the vineyard. Biodiversity is a good thing for the health of the vines and now that it is fall we have some really beautiful things growing in tandem with the vines.

Barking up the right Vine.

SO this week I’m starting to notice the vines developing bark! i know- exciting stuff right! Actually it is, bark is essential for the vines, it is the way they fortify themselves against the coming coolness and frost that winter brings. The book says you shouldn’t use any fruit the vines may bare if there is no bark present. Well I’m a ways away from there being any fruit, but fr sure bark is a good thing to see developing. 


This is the beginnings of bark on #3. The vine went from green to a nice purple and now I’m seeing it develop this pulpy fleshy bark. The stems attached to these leaves are turning a deep purple too, a sign that summer is coming to an end and I

l’ll expect to see the leaves all change with the season and eventually fall away. This first fall will be a time of another huge root growth, so I should see the stocks fatten up and the bark cover all of the vines and canes.


Here again on #3 you see canes coming off the cordons, there are several that are strong and these are going to be producing a ton of fruit for us dow the line, they’re growing straight up through the guide wires which is perfect. 

A look at Wire Training

First off- after 4 months in the ground- almost the entire vineyard is doing great.


Here is #1-5, cordons extending fully along the guide wire.


The trunks have turned from green to this purple/brown color indicating that bark is soon to show. A very good sign.


One of my replacements is ready to start training- I’ll detail it here.


This branch will serve as my Right cordon, as its the strongest and has the most growth.


This branch will serve as my left cordon.


Trim everything else off.


Tie the branch down using plastic garden tape, basically at every bud break. Which a this point is between 1-2 inches. Other more developed vines in the yard here are every 3 inches.


Here is a top view, this vineyard is good for about 1-1.5 inches of growth per day. So I am out here twice a week tying the cordons down. 


And there it is!

Ill check back and continue to tie it down as needed throughout the rest of the season.

A Death in the Vineyards

SO #9 has been having problems, for about 2 weeks now it has been limp and drooping and there had been nothing I could do to revive it- than a week ago #14 started doing the same thing- just like sudden vine death or some other weird phenomenon. Anyway after treating them with extra water, daily- which brought other vines back to life previously they were in real trouble. I gave them a healthy dose of Super Thrive with a bunch of water and some 16-12-16 fertilizer but to no avail- I have officially pronounced them dead. 



What is the most sure sign that they’re done for is the lack of any new or renewed green lower on the stock- these guys have had it and for no outwardly apparent reason. So I will replace them with 2 of the 3 extra bare-root vines I got, and Ill trim their old stocks down and try to bring them back to life in a separate pot, similar to the 4 I removed (3 of which now show new growth). I’ll document the transplant and post it shortly.

Upward Mobility

After 30 days of being surrounded by soil to the tips, the new bare-root vines are ready to lose their shorings and receive permanent housing! I picked today- June 8- Forecasted to be in the 90º range as their day. All 7 have new strong shoots and are reaching toward for the heavens. #6, #16, #19 and #21 are now set up with their stakes, dippers and housing, and will be on the daily 25 minute schedule. The 3 spare vines are doing great in their individual buckets as well as 3 of the 4 that had previously been pronounced dead are showing new signs of life. I’m deciding what to do with these- perhaps put them in a trough with their own trellis in the backyard. We’ll see. 

Here are the spare 3- I learned that shoring up the vine with soil 2-3 inches above the tip was the best move, I’ll keep that in mind for the next vineyard.

the old 4- 3 of which have bud break, we’ll continue to monitor their progress. 

New Additions

After 4 days of keeping my new Bare-root vines in the garage, misting them gently with clean water 4 times a day and generally giving them the life of luxury- it was time to put them in the earth. 

I dug hole 12-14 inches deep, removed the old vines- and planted the new ones over a cone-shaped mound of fresh soil, back filled them in with more new soil and temped them down, leaving the graft union 4-5 inches above the ground. I used Nature’s Own, an organic garden soil made by Miracle Grow, and made sure they soil in their hole were at least 50% moisture- then irrigated them each with ¼ gallon of water w/ a Vitamin B1 mix.

Per Nova Vine’s instructions I covered the remaining vine all the way with loose soil, so that none of the vine is visible- I rigged up some cardboard houses to surround the vines to fill with soil so they’d stay covered. Ill remove the soil and place their housing on w/ a guide stake when the first new growth comes through the soil. I put the extra 3 vines in their own buckets and did the same with them incase they are needed, as well as putting all 4 dead vines in they’re own bucket just to see if I can resurrect them. I trimmed them and watered them with Super Thrive to see if they can sprout again. The main issue I could see is that the roots hadn’t ventured out past their original potted cone- they just didn’t set in the dirt.

Here you can see the 4 that didn’t make it- I trimmed off there dead leaves and we’ll see what they can do!