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Vineyard FAQ'S

 
 

What do grape blossoms smell like?

Walking through the vineyard when it is in full bloom is a unique experience. The scent is slightly more subtle than other fruits. Each flower blossom will develop into a separate berry...
How do you propagate grape vines?

Grape vines are propagated by taking dormant shoots pruned off during the spring. These 3 to 4 bud long cuttings are planted in garden soil and grown one year. The next year they are ready to plant in your vineyard. They will be the same variety as the vine that they were taken from.

What time of the year should I prune my vines?

Grape vines may be pruned any time that the leaves are off and they are dormant. Many vineyards with huge acres of vines to prune may work all winter, but we prefer to prune in the spring. In the spring, any winter damage that has occurred will be visible and pruning adjustments will be made.

Do Michigan vines need to be grafted?

Most vinifera vines that are grown (such as Cabernet, Reisling, etc) need to be grafted on to a strong rootstock because they are not tolerant of the Phloxera louse, a pest that will kill the vines. Most all vines in California and any vinifera vine grown in Michigan are grafted for this reason.

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Do grapes need a frost to ripen?

Absolutely not. There are early and late season varieties, an early season grape left on the vine until frost will be mushy and overripe.
 
Once a frost hits the vine and all the leaves are burned off, any further photosynthesis or ripening will cease...

How is our vineyard different than others?

I do not know any other vineyard that has more than 20 varieties of grapes and sells 100% U-PICK!

Since we are not a winery we do not keep the premium grapes for ourselves and sell what is left to local customers.

YOU are our only customers!

What is your favorite grape?

We get this asked of us all the time. Which grape makes the best wine, best jelly, best juice, etc. This is very difficult to answer & also varies from season to season. Many of our customers have very different tastes than we do.
My personal favorites as of April, 2007:

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Do you recommend oak barrels for winemaking?
Oak barrels can be very useful in winemaking, but they can be problematic and I prefer glass carboys.

Oak barrels are excellent for large amounts of wine such as 55 gallons. The ration of air to wine is just right. When you use smaller barrels...
 

Honey FAQ'S

 
 
Can a honeybee sting more than once?
NO - Honeybees are not aggressive by nature, and will not sting unless protecting their hive from an intruder or are unduly provoked.
Unlike the stingers in wasps, the honeybee's stinger is barbed and...
 
Why do Honeybees Swarm?

Honeybees usually swarm in the Spring.  When the colony gets too crowded and not enough room inside or perhaps the bees decide that the queen is too old and not laying enough eggs, the honeybee colony will make preparations to swarm.

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Do the vines need the honeybees for pollination?
The bees that we keep at our farm have no connection to the vineyard.  The grapes do not need bees to be pollinated - they are wind pollinated.
 
What has caused the massive loss of honeybees in the last few years?

Honeybee colonies are being decimated by varroa mites. Varroa mites are a mite the size of a pin head that grows on the honeybee pupae and causes the honeybees to weaken and die.

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Did Honey exist in Biblical times?

In biblical times, one of the known sweetening agents in the world was honey.

Honey was valued highly.
 
Do Bumble Bees make honey?

Yes, but only a few pounds. The bumble bee colony will average about 250 bees in the summer (honeybees about 50,000) and produce 1-2 lbs of honey (a honeybee colony will produce 50 - 250 lb). Only the queen will live over the winter.

How much honey does a honeybee produce in a year?

Although a colony of honeybees (40,000 or more in the summer) can easily produce over a hundred pounds of honey, a single honeybee produces only about a teaspoon full in her life.
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