Let's grow grape vines in Washinton!
December 18, 2007 10:47 AM   Subscribe

What wine grapes (if any) would grow successfully just outside of Kelso, Washington? Ideally, they would be low maintenance as far as grapes go. Would be looking to graft 2 or 3 year old plants. It's cold in the winter, hot in the summer and wet all the time.
posted by guruguy9 to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Response by poster: Also, this would be purely for fun (output < 50 bottles).
posted by guruguy9 at 10:47 AM on December 18, 2007

Some things you'd need to determine: how cold in winter, what type of soil, exposure, topography (grapes are often grown on slopes because of the good drainage required). Also: red or white? You might begin by looking at what local vineyards are growing.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:58 AM on December 18, 2007

I can't recommend a specific cultivar, but the Washington State University Viticulture Extension is where I woul start. They have several articles on that page on choosing varieties for specific areas, and I'm sure if you gave them a call they'd have an extension agent who'd be happy to help.
posted by jocelmeow at 11:00 AM on December 18, 2007

also: though there's no easy way to search, you may find this database (and associated links) useful. Browsing North American hybrids might be a good place to start. You may find German varieties that are grown under similar cultural conditions as you have- colder and wetter than Mediterranean grapes prefer, for example.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:02 AM on December 18, 2007

UC Davis has done lots of extensive research into what grapes grow best where. Check out stuff in and around here.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:58 AM on December 18, 2007

Barberas seem to be the new hot grape up there.
posted by Sukiari at 12:34 PM on December 18, 2007

My house in Portland came with a few Muscadine grape vines. They're more common in the Southeast, but with nothing more than sporadic pruning they produce a lot and are seemingly indestructible. Unfortunately, muscadine wine is not so good. They do, however, make a fabulous jelly with a unique taste.

Alternately, you should be able to buy juice from homebrew/wine making shops or even buy grapes in bulk from productive vineyards.
posted by turbodog at 2:51 PM on December 18, 2007

I second calling the Washington State University extension people.
posted by catseatcheese at 4:52 PM on December 18, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I'm currently looking through these resources...within a few years I may even enjoy a bottle of family wine!
posted by guruguy9 at 5:26 PM on December 18, 2007

Check out Black Ridge Nursery, an organic nursery in Onalaska, WA. The dude there, who has a VERY impressive setup and deep knowledge of all that he grows, produces a huge amount and variety of different plants, included old nut trees, paw paws, kiwis galore, and just about every herbaceous kind of thing you could want. Another positive side of this is that the varieties he'll have there have survived quite well through our kind of weather we get in Western WA (I live in Centralia). Check him out, set up and appointment. He'll be more than happy, I believe, to talk to you about varieties. His 2008 catalog is also available.

posted by ZaneJ. at 1:52 PM on December 22, 2007

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