Good Fruit Grower

February 1

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 34 of 55

A young Don Graves poses with his productive Grenache grapevines. days, he did all the pruning by himself. "I'm too old for that now, but I still get on the tractor and do a few vineyard chores." • MOST southern (Continued from page 27) Graves partnered with Chuck Henderson in the late 1960s and developed Bingen Wine Cellars. "I was not the winemaker, but had a little knowledge of winemaking because I had taken a "My goal was quality. That's what I was after, growing good, quality grapes." SEE US AT THE WAWGG VINEYARD PRODUCTS Sprayers Gondolas Deleafers —Don Graves Growing quality grapes See GREGOIRE'S New Full Cleaning System CLEAN TECH = VARIO available now on all new machines New GREGOIRE'S Inventory G2 Pull Type with Clean Tech+Vario G8 Self propelled Special Deals on grape harvesters Korvan 314 - low hours - $85K Gregoire G115 4wd, cab, $90K Gregoire G60 KW Pull Type, 82K Gregoire G117 4wd, cab, $89 Prepruning "My goal was quality. That's what I was after, growing good, quality grapes. I had the opportunity to expand my acreage, but didn't take it because I wanted to continue to produce quality fruit. I had a full-time job at Bonneville and didn't want to take on too much that would compromise the quality of my grapes." He targeted yields of 3.5 tons per acre and usually averaged 22.5° Brix for his Cabernet Sauvignon. "Now, the winemakers want the Cab to be 24° Brix. I held my yields down because I could get better quality that way." Red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, have done well in the long, warm growing season of Dallesport. According to data collected by the WSU AgWeather Net, a statewide network of weather stations, the average number of growing degree-days in the area is 3,029. In 2013, a warm year, there were 3,365 growing degree-days. Graves controlled his vine vigor with overhead sprinklers he installed at the suggestion of Clore. He usually irrigated two or three times a year, beginning after shoot growth slowed. Average annual rainfall is about 13 inches. The vineyard is located on a bench above the Columbia River. The volcanic soils have been covered by centuries of wind-blown loess, creating a top layer of light soil and rocky soil below. Basalt cliffs and outcroppings dot the landscape. Two years ago, his son and daughter stepped in to take care of the vineyard. "Now, I'm just the hired man," said Graves, addng that in his younger USA Sales & Service for: Deleafing winemaking course. I was interested in winemaking, but learned the winery took up a lot of time," said Graves. He sold his interest to Henderson after three years to devote more time to growing. "What little knowledge I had of the wine business showed me that to grow bigger would require 24 hours a day of my time," he said. Dealer inquires invited Call Your Nearest Dealer Today! CLE ELUM 509-654-4544 UNION GAP, WA 509-248-8411 SUNNYSIDE, WA 509-839-2066 GEORGE, WA 509-785-2595 PASCO, WA 509-544-6678 WALLA WALLA 509-525-4550 California Sales, Paso Robles CA, Santa Rosa CA - Call Gregg Marrs, 509-840-1828 GOOD FRUIT GROWER FEBRUARY 1, 2014 35

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - February 1