“Rain, rain, go away…”  If only a simple song could get rid of this rain, my job would be so much easier.  Unfortunately, the vineyard is starting to see some problems with all of this rain.

As I mentioned in last week’s article we are getting ready to plant more grapevines at the winery. The posts are in, the trellis is in place and the grow tubes have all been put together. Due to the amount of rain we’ve had, digging a hole for the vines has proven to be very difficult. If I were digging holes to make mud pies, I would have a very successful business this year!

As for the vines that have been in the ground for a while now, they are surviving the rain for now. By now, we are usually starting to see bud break and some growth in the vineyard. But for that to happen, we need some sunshine to offset the amount of rain. This delay in bud break isn’t too harmful to the vine but the longer we go without bud break, the greater the risk is for a shorter growing season.

Also, another concern we will start to monitor once the rain stops is the chance for diseases to hit the winery. A common disease that will hit most of the wineries this year will be Black Rot, which will infect the leaves, young canes and the grapes. Any standing water around the base of the vines can accumulate a number of molds and diseases which can either slow any growth down, impact the taste of the wines or, in severe cases, could kill a vine.

Identifying the possibility of black rot is key in preventing it from attacking the vineyard. A combination of a fungicide and pesticide spray schedule will minimize the spread of black rot and other diseases. However, we will also be walking through the vineyard a number of times a week to see if any of the young canes are impacted. If a cane does become diseased we will remove that cane to stop the spread through the rest of the vine.

So while we are very busy around the vineyard dealing with the rain, I guess it could have been worse – this could have been snow!

Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Street, Garrettsville. For more gift ideas or wine lists from the winery, please visit www.candlelightwinery.com.