The central theme to any vineyard is its ability to coax out of the soil world class grapes.
The history of our vineyard starts in 2005 when we planted 100 VCR/3309C Pinot Noir clones. After some ill planned scheduling we learned to plant in late Spring. We laid out our rows in a North / South orientation to maximize sunlight to our vines and with a slight slope to the south we gain some drainage as well. Our soil is characterized mainly as a clay loam soil…not optimal but the vines appear to be flourishing nonetheless. Late Spring of 2007, we again planted but with 500 vines (250 Marechal Foch own rooted vines and 250 Entav 115/3309C Pinot Noir clones. In the Spring of 2008 we planted an additional 1100 vines (400 Marquette vines, 300 Entav 115/3309C Pinot Noir clones and 400 own rooted Marechal Foch vines) to round out our 2 acre vineyard. Spacing varies with the Pinot Noir and Marechal Foch spaced at 8ft. x 4ft and the Marquette spaced at 4ft x 3ft., we expect higher yields from the more closely spaced Marquette. What drove the spacing decision was lack of space as we received the Marquette late in the season due to an unusually cold spring at Falconer Vineyards our nursery. We expect production to reach 3-4 tons per acre within 4 years. Our future is bright here in Montana and we expect to supply our winemakers (Tenspoon Winery) with premium fruit within the next 2 years. All of our grapes are grown organically and with the use of sustainable viticultural techniques.
Our philosophy is simple, we endeavor to grow our vines and grapes organically and with the use of sustainable viticultural techniques. An additional component of our farming practices is the use of strictly controlled water usage by utilizing the latest in drip irrigation technology.
Weather stations in the vineyard monitor soil temperature at multiple depths, soil moisture at multiple depths, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and soon we will have the ability to monitor evapotranspiration real time and tie this data into our irrigation system controller to provide the optimum level of moisture to our vines day to day. The goal is to utilize the valuable water resources in the Clark Fork Valley as conservatively as possible but still allow us to produce world class grapes for our winemakers.