My 10th Trip To Oregon Vineyards...

February 25, 2013

As I look out my window I see there is a guy mowing the grass.  So as you can decipher, since were in the final few days of February, I'm not at the Red Trail Vineyard.   Currently, I’m on my winter trip to Oregon checking out the wineries and vineyards in the area.  Last week I visited the Napa Valley in California and enjoyed many of their wines and first class wineries.  This is my 10th year that I’ve traveled to the Pacific Northwest and it's hard to explain this part of the world except that it is a very unique place.

Here in the Willamette Valley, just south of Portland, with the Coastal Range to the west and the Cascades to the east, the climate is just right for a large variety of crops.  Such as nuts, hops, strawberries, raspberries, marion berries, apples, pears and many thousands of acres of grapes.  The farmland is flat and all irrigated as in the summer the temperatures get into the 90's and the rain stops.    This region is a Zone 8....just like Texas.

One of my missions on this trip was to let some of the winemakers in Napa and the Willamette Valley of Oregon taste some of the new Petite Pearl wine that was made by Rod Ballinger at Bear Creek Winery in South Fargo.  So far it has created a WOW! and a "this is a hybrid grape and grown in North Dakota" ?   WOW!  They were surprised at the flavor and amazed at the color.  This very dark red clings to the side of the glass like no other.

Petite Pearl was developed by Plant Breeder Tom Plocher from Hugo, MN and we planted 7 vines in our test area in 2005.  Since then we planted another 100 that will be put on a trellis this year.  We plan to plant another 200 vines this spring.  So stay patient for there is very, very good wine to come in the future.

The vineyard is still sleeping, but I'm looking forward to start pruning when I return, or when the weather is warmer.   If you would like to come out and learn the pruning techniques, let us know.

 

Sleepy Time For The Vines...

November 14, 2012
Tis the Season! All the work is finished in the Vineyard and we hope with this cool weather the vines will harding off and getting ready for winter.  The Winery is in the process of making our new wines and it looks like we will have a good supply of Alpha Rose for next year.  We decided to take out all of our St Croix vines and replace them with Petite Pearl.  Sometime in January or February we will prune our Petite Pearl vines and take the cuttings and root them to plant next spring.  The f...

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Another Great Friday Night Dinner!

August 12, 2012
Thanks to all who attended our Garden Harvest Dinner August 10th.  We had 55 guests enjoying swiss steak, garlic & rosemary potatoes, creamed green beans, tomatoes, creamed cucumbers and fresh sweet corn.

We'll have one final Friday Night Dinner to close out our 2012 Season.  We've had many requests to bring back the "Juicy Lucy's" one more time.  So stay tuned for the menu and the date!!

Cheers!

Rodney

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Friday Night Supper - August 10, 2012

August 6, 2012
HI Folks we are back!
 
With a couple of busy weekends behind us it's time for another Friday Nite Supper.
 
THIS COMING FRIDAY NITE.....AUGUST 10th.You are invited to join us in a Garden Harvest Supper! Our Swiss Steak prepared in a mushroom sauce or a tomato sauce will be your choice for the evening. Included in your meal are garden fresh roasted potato's, along with tomato's, creamed cucumbers, green beans and fresh sweet corn.......GOSH!  It sounds like a meal Mom use to make! All homemade an...

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Friends of Arizona Group Wine & Dine at the RTV

July 18, 2012
Thank you to the 'Friends of Arizona' group that wined & dined at the vineyard last night!  Grilled burgers, Grandma Hogen's Beans & Rod's Potato Salad fed this crowd followed by a piece of fresh rhubarb bars.  Red Trail Vineyard wines & beers from Miller Brewing quenched their thirst.  After dinner, Rodney led the group through the vineyard with a personal & educational tour.  And his guitar did make an appearance as well to entertain the crowd on the back patio to close out a very enjoyable...
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Mexi-Nite Thank You!

June 26, 2012

Thanks to all who attended Mexi-nite at the Red Trail Vineyard last Friday.  It was another great outing!  Our next Friday Nite Special will be on July 6th - Italian Nite including all the fixins'.   We’ll have a 5 pm and 7 pm seating.  Reserve your seating early as we fill up quick!

Other happenings at the vineyard this past week...

We had 700+ vines that didn't survive the winter so now we are pruning and training the new growth.  That training will continue throughout the summer.  Weed...


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Friday Night Dinner at The Red Trail Vineyard - Huge Success!

June 11, 2012
Juicy Lucy Night was our grand opening for our Friday Night Special at the vineyard. And it was a smashing success! JuicyLucy's (made to order stuffed burgers) paired with Hogen's Famous Potato Salad won our guests over.  And of course a little surprise dessert didn't hurt either!  Thanks to all who attended. :)

So the question we were asked quiteften was, "Is this something you'll be doing every Friday?".  Well, it's something we'll be doing most Friday's, as our hectic schedule allows.  So m...

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Great Winter Weather, Tough On Our Vines...

May 25, 2012
As spring came early and summer is right around the corner we have been seeing more die back in our vines.     I thought because of the nice winter that this year we wouldn't see any vines die.    But that wasn't the case and currentlywe are experiencing a 50% loss of our vines for this year.      Our Marquette'sPrairie Star, Louise Swenson, St Croix, St. Pepin and Summerset Seedless have all died back to the ground.    They are now beginning to grow from the root.   So that means we will l...

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Springtime News From The Vineyard...

May 7, 2012
It's been a busy spring at the vineyard. Pruning the 2,500+ vines is nearly finished.  Most of the vines seem to have survived the winter but I have seen some issues with the some of the vines that I think had to do more with the dry fall and also with the hail damage on the canes. So this will be another year to wait and see on our production.  We have put in more earth anchors and will be working on building more trellis this year.  

Opening day is fast approaching - Friday, May 25th.  Somet...
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All ready for winter!

November 14, 2011
 
All the grapes, with the exception of the Ice Wine grapes, have been harvested and the juice is in cold storage until after the first of the year when it will be delivered to the winery.  But, we did start a small batch of Petite Pearl. This will be a very limited red wine and is from some of our early plantings in 2005 and 2007.  In 2008 we planted 75 cuttings and next year I will start training them on a new trellis system.  Petite Pearl was first planted in 2005 as an experiment f...

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About Me

Red Trail Vineyard
Buffalo, Nd
Red Trail Vineyard