2017 Year End Wrap Up

November 29, 2017
Greetings,

This was our 15th year for our oldest grapes the King of the North, and it will be the end of the Alpha Rose wine.    We will have a small supply to sell in 2018 , but starting with this years crop we will be making Sangria with our Valiant and King of the North varieties.   In the vineyard our other varieties continue to produce a little more and this year we missed the frost and hail that wiped out some our grapes last year.   We started pruning the middle of April and finished the middle of May.   This was the latest I have pruned and some of the grapes were breaking bud.    After the pruning was finished, it was time to mow, fertilize, fix posts, spray for weeds......etc.    And that continued throughout the year.    We were fortunate to have Pastor Joel from the Lutheran Church of the Cross in West Fargo, do his Sabbatical at  Vineyard and he help with about every job there was to do in a vineyard, plus paint the west side of the tasting room.   It was a delight and joy to have him and his family join us this year.    We also had a grad student from NDSU, Andrej Svyantek who is working on his doctorate degree ,he did some of his research on the Marquette, Frontenac Gris and Sabrevois varieties.  Andrej was a great source of knowledge and look forward to continue to work with him on his studies.   
The grape harvest started on September 27 and Carl Hovland and I picked 150 # of Sabrevois, just to make sure the equipment was working.   The next day Bob Snyder joined us and son Mike came up from Sioux Falls to help with the harvest.  On Saturday the 30 we had 14 volunteers and we finished the 600 vines of Marquette and got them all processed and put in the fermenters and they were on their way to Wolf Creek Winery to get happy.    Harvest continue through the week and Saturday the 7th of October we had 12 volunteers come and help finish the Frontenac Gris.   The next day Sunday the 8th , Mike and I finished the harvest of La Crescent and Prairie Star.   It turned out to be a very good grape harvest throughout North Dakota and look forward of more wine production.   

In the tasting room it was a busy year ,  I did a facelift on the south wall when I took some wood pallets apart and nailed them to the wall.....and it looks darn good.  We also did some painting on the outside west wall and south wall .    
Our Friday Night Suppers began on May 5th,  (the people were hungry).   We started something new , on the 1st Friday of every month we served a steak, baked potato, and coleslaw for $8.95.   and every Friday we were overbooked.    We continued throughout the year with our thursday and friday nights suppers,  but this year we added a Mothers Day and Fathers Day Sunday Dinner.    It was a busy year for Susan and I and we want to Thank everyone who helped us in the vineyard and Tasting Room.    A special Thank You to Gwen Crawford, Kim Hamon and Staci Hovland for their help serving our guests.  To Diane Hovland for her beautiful flowers and to Rose Mjor for planting the flower beds, and Hunter Berntson for keeping the grounds trimmed and mowed.  Thanks also to Randy and Darcy from Wolf Creek Winery for making some of the best wine in North Dakota.  Your wines are so easy to sell, cause the're just darn good.    Thank You to our old friends and new friends, to our neighbors in Buffalo and Fargo for your continued support throughout the year.  Our wines are now getting happy at the winery and some of the 2016 production is in the cellar just getting mellow, and you'll get to taste that next year.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Rodney & Susan
 

Summer is ending and the Fall is here already

September 21, 2017

It's been a great summer here at the vineyard.......it's been a little dry but it didn't seem to affect the grapes.    Our crop this year is looking good and if we miss the fall thunderstorms with no hail it could exceed last years.    We tested all the varieties on Saturday and it showed we should wait another week before we harvest.    So our plan is to start picking on Wednesday the 27th and continue through the weekend.     According to the tests, it's looks like the Frontenac 200 vines w...


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2016 End Of Year Wrap Up

January 4, 2017
It was a busy year along the Red Trail.    With hail, birds,and deer that tried to destroy our crop the weather seemed to be the savior.
We started with an early spring and we finish pruning on May 3rd.   We could see that with the nice weather early I thought it was to our benefit to prune as late as possible and on May 14th we had a lite frost, but it didn't seem to hurt the vines.   I think with our elevation of 300 ft above the valley and the late pruning our vines remained healthy with th...

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Spring 2016

April 11, 2016
It's hard to believe that 14 years ago I was in search of grape vines to plant.   In the spring of 2003 I was trying to chose what site would work best for growing grapes as to the slope of the land and also trees that would give us some wind protection.    The area I picked became our north vineyard and as I measured and staked the vineyard area I thought wow ....these 5 acres would be a big garden and I wondered how many times I would be walking up and down each row in the coming ye...

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Year #12 comes to a close...

November 3, 2015
Another year at the vineyard is over.....number 12.     Our vineyard continues to change with the removal of some vines and the planting of exciting new varieties.    In January we started out with a little pruning in our test area, of our 2-1-17 and I took over 100 cuttings to NDSU to be put in their Greenhouse and rooted.    These we planted in the spring on the west side.
   
Also in January and February, our juice from the 2014 crop was now getting happy at the two wineries.   Un...

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Fall Grape Harvest Coming Soon!

September 9, 2015
It's September already!   What a busy year it has been.     The grapes decided to bud a little earlier than normal and almost to early, as we had a late may frost, but they survived and throughout the summer it looked like our production would hit a new high.     But on August 14th we got hit by a hail storm that took out about 40% of the crop.    We are still looking forward to a good crop but it could have been better.    Oh well     Maybe next year !        Yesterday I tested the ...

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Latest News from the Vineyard

April 27, 2015
Looks like Spring has arrived and we are currently half done with the pruning.     I have the North Vineyard finished and will start of the South Vineyard today.     The south  vineyard are a bit younger and smaller plants and is done on a VSP Trellis so it  will go a lot faster.   All the varieties are looking good after our mild winter and the new Petite Pearls that were planted last year are looking good.     The Petite Pearl takes longer to get established and to produce fruit,  I'...
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Wrap Up

November 20, 2014
It was another busy year at the vineyard !        Thank you to the many that came and enjoyed our Friday Nite Suppers and we plan to continue and hopefully do a few more next year.    One of the High-lites of the year was our wine event introducing some of the new wines the Petite Pearl,  2-1-17, and 1-1-34.   The last 2 are experimental and don't have a name but all 3 have a great potential of becoming a variety to grow in the future.  We have over 200 Petite Pearls in the ground and ...

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Grape Harvest starting Sept. 27th

September 22, 2014
It's that time of the year for harvest.   Even though our production will be down we consider ourselves lucky because many vineyards lost most of their grapes.    Saturday the 27th we will begin to pick the white grapes and de-stem, crush and press.    We will also harvest some of the reds.  We will be serving beef stew for noon lunch.    So please let me know if you can attend by calling my cell   701-238-3337. 

Saturday is also the day when we host the Vine & Dine event at the vineya...

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July 2014 Vineyard News

July 23, 2014
On my last trip through the vineyard, it looks like our production this year will be down.    All of our vines survived the winter except the Louise Swenson which died back to the ground and we plan to pull all of these to plant something new.    The other vines struggled with the cold and later spring, setting the flowering back about a week and when they flowered we had a rainy period that affected the pollination as the clusters have more shot berrys.     Our new plantings of Petite ...

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About Me

Red Trail Vineyard
Buffalo, Nd
Red Trail Vineyard