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David Sparks Ph.d Bitner Vineyard
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: August 15, 2017

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Ron Bittner, the owner of Bittner Vineyards in Caldwell Idaho, recently took us on a tour of his property and discussed some of the devastation that last winter reeked upon his crop.

 

“This winter, I have a weather station, It was -18 degrees below zero, the first 10 days of January. It killed the plants to the snow line. Luckily, our temperatures 24 inches down never got below 40 degrees. Even though it killed everything above, we’re retaining the original suckers back up. The vines will continue as the same vines I planted back in 1981.

 

The hard part for farmers this year is that my vines are this big around and I cut the old vines out but it literally cost more to take out an old vineyard than starting from scratch. Im glad that most of the old vines have survived. Right now we’re training it up to the catch wire and there are some fruit spurs for next year and hopefully we will be back to a 2-3 ton crop, maybe one ton next year and 2-3 the next.

 

That weather that we had through here, for some reason this is one of the better sites in idaho but anilated us growers right here. My red block looks healthy but theres no fruit on them. They made it through the winter but then lost and killed the fruit bud, so theres no crop on that. This block over here, my neighbors, is an example of cold weather and varietal selection… the bushy cabs survived the winter.

 

In 2012 we won double gold, against7000 wineries.

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