Friday, June 18, 2010

Wine in progress

Last year my friends Stian and Øyvind brought a grape vine down to our summer home. Later that year, I purchased another variety. They have both survived the harsh winter of 2009/2010, and has woken up to face another summer. May this will be the start of a prosperous vineyard?

I know that two plants hardly will matter if you want a decent harvest of grapes. I have to admit that I bought mine primarily for decorative purposes, as I love the ornamental leaves on these vines.

The funny thing, though, is that people in Norway believe that grape vines are exotic plants. It is true that some are rather timid, but other varieties e.g. from Eastern Europe are used to very cold winters, and would be well adjusted to our climate.

The question is whether I will get some grapes. If you grow them in a greenhouse (as Stian and Øyvinds), you can get large dark blue grapes. If you are growing them outside, you may struggle if it is a cool summer. In fact my uncle and aunt that used to live in the quaint community of Tvedestrand by the Norwegian south coast hard grape vines climbing in a large pine tree, and they could harvest small green grapes on a regular basis.

Stian and Øyvind gave me a hybrid between a North American wild grape and a European grape variety for my garden. As the North American wine variety may be used to cold inhospitable winters, its offspring may be well adjusted to the climate of South Eastern Norway. The other was bought at Plantasjen, my local garden centre. They import plants according to the national plant hardiness zones, so they should have a good chance to grow to maturity.

I will keep you posted on my wine producing adventure during the 2010 season.

See Stian and Øyvinds blog here

(Photo: Grapes from greenhouse at Stav Østre: Stian and Øyvind)

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