This is my first post at Snooth.
My father and I are experimenting with growing wine grapes on the west coast of Norway, at roughly the 62th latitude - equivalent to Iceland, the southern tip of Greenland, Mid-Alaska, mid-Siberia and the Kamchatka peninsula.
We planted a variety of cold hardy varieties last spring, and had quite good yield of sweet grapes this fall on some varieties. The photo in my profile is of the "Rondo" grapes. These were fully ripe when harvested in September last year.
It will be interesting to see how the vines have stood up to this year's winter, which has been unusually cold and snowy with temperatures reaching down to -16 on the west coast, which is quite unusual. Hopefully the snow will have insulated the lower stem and root systems.
If all goes well, we would like to try out some vitis vinifera varieties next year. Perhaps riesling or even Cab and pinot. From our experience they will probably survive the winters here, but the big question is: will they be able to ripen before the frost sets in around October/ November...?
We have a south-sloping field, starting right from the fjord, with a lot of sun exposure. Sunlight in summers can be a good 20 hours on clear days, perhaps compensating to some degree for the lack of intensity in light and heat?
Meanwhile, I am enjoying my trusted zinfandel here in Oslo - a burst of summer in all the snow.
First post - vine growing in Norway
- Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 19, 2010.
What an awesome project. I am very curious to hear how many of the vines survive the winter.
Your point that all that added sunlight might offset the shorter grwoing season is an intriguing one.
As far as growing vinifera grapes, I would look towards somethig early riepneing that doesn't yield particularly weedy of green flavors when a bit under-ripe.
- Reply by dmcker, Mar 19, 2010.
Great project, and be sure to post future news. Any other German or Austrian varietals you've considered?
- Reply by zufrieden, Mar 19, 2010.
You must be just south of Trondheim and north of Bergen My long deceased Norwegian grandmother would be proud of you - of that you can be sure. Let us know whether the warm currents off the coast actually permit these vines to ripen.
- Reply by amour, Mar 20, 2010.
Would you possibly produce even small quantities of ICEWINE?
- Reply by penguinoid, Mar 24, 2010.
Riesling might work, but I've read it takes more warmth/sunlight than you might expect. The site you've got may help, though, if it gets lots of sunlight.
John Gladstone's book 'Viticulture and the Environment' provides a list of grape varities in order of increasing time taken to ripen. From that, Pinot Gris or Grüner Veltliner even Chardonnay may work well too? But it would be worth trying out a number of varities, and seeing what works best.
The same book says (of Geisenheim, Rheinghau): "The ability of Riesling to reach full maturity so far north depends greatly on site factors: slope, southerly aspect, and to a certain extent soil type. Closely proximity to the Rhine is doubtless and additional factor".
Anyway, good luck. Sounds like an interesting project, and I hope it works well!
- Reply by Allotment Rob, Aug 26, 2010.
Great Idea to use Rondo, I have this planted in the UK. I mix the Rondo with Regent when making the wine. A good book on growing grapes and making wine in cold climate is: Northern Wine Work from these guys at http://www.northernwinework.com
- Reply by napagirl68, Aug 27, 2010.
You are AWESOME! Best of luck with your grapes, and welcome to Snooth! We would love to hear of your progress! Post your results... you sound very dedicated..