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Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Old Jan 5th 2008, 4:07 am
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Default Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

I'm thinking of cultivating a slope situated halfway down our block which is not much cop for anything else.

Here in cooler Melbourne (winter) it effects the variety of grape but we are not much further from the Peninsular or Yarra Valley and there are wineries k's down the road.

Anyone try it or know anything about it?
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 6:01 am
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Originally Posted by BadgeIsBack View Post
I'm thinking of cultivating a slope situated halfway down our block which is not much cop for anything else.

Here in cooler Melbourne (winter) it effects the variety of grape but we are not much further from the Peninsular or Yarra Valley and there are wineries k's down the road.

Anyone try it or know anything about it?

We have a massive grape vine in our back yard. It was already in when we moved here, and really we haven't done much to it as yet. But we have some really great grapes growing just now, they should be ready to pick within a month.

We also had a grape vine in the UK, never actually grew it enough to get any fruit, but I reckon if we'd stayed another year or two we'd have got something. My dad had a back garden full of them for years as he used to make his own wine, so if they can be grown there I'm sure you'll be OK in Melbourne.

My OH is more the gardener than me, so if you want to know anything specific I'll ask him and see if he knows.

Here's a couple of pics of ours. It doesn't seem to like it being 40+ degrees though
Attached Thumbnails Anyone grow grapes in Australia?-phto0012.jpg   Anyone grow grapes in Australia?-phto0015.jpg  
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 6:12 am
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Bottleshop, easier, quicker, why make your own wine? all you get is red feet and
a hell of a hangover
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 6:46 am
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Originally Posted by randomdelusion View Post
Bottleshop, easier, quicker, why make your own wine? all you get is red feet and
a hell of a hangover

Our grapes will be eaten before they've had chance to be made into wine plus I have a bottle shop over the road, and the Barossa half hour away, why would I want to attempt it
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 6:53 am
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

We have vines currently strangling our lemon tree. They were nothing but dry twigs when we moved in 6 months ago, now they are monstrous trifids. My advice would be, they thrive on neglect.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 7:23 am
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Originally Posted by BadgeIsBack View Post
I'm thinking of cultivating a slope situated halfway down our block which is not much cop for anything else.

Here in cooler Melbourne (winter) it effects the variety of grape but we are not much further from the Peninsular or Yarra Valley and there are wineries k's down the road.

Anyone try it or know anything about it?
Mate, we'll be growing grapes too once we get the house built, so if you could start straight away please so we can benefit from your experience...

Buzzy
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Growing grapes is a complex and sometimes time-consuming project with several steps involved. There are entire books written on this subject. The basic steps are listed here; if you require additional information, please consult the other HowToDoThings articles devoted to individual steps of growing grapes.

1. The first step in the process is to select the type of grape you want to grow. There are several things to consider before you make your final selection. What are the climate and soil conditions in your area? What do you want to do with the grapes after you harvest them? Are you looking for grapes to make juice, wine, jelly, or just for snacking? After you have asked yourself these questions, consult with a local nursery to select a variety suitable to your needs and location. Most varieties of grapes will not begin producing fruit until about two to four years after being planted. For more information, consult How to Buy Grapevines.
2. When you are handling your rootstock, it is very important to never let the roots dry out. If you have bare rootstock, and you cannot plant the vines as soon as you get them, place the roots in a bucket of water and soak them. Do not soak them for more than a day, or the roots can be ruined. If you will not be able to plant your grapes for more than a day after bringing them home, dig a shallow trench and bury the roots temporarily. You can store them like this until planting time; just be sure you keep the roots moist.
3. The next step in the process is to plant the grapevines you have selected. You should plant your grapevines at least 8-10 feet apart in rich, well-drained soil. Grapevines thrive in sandy or rocky soil. They can often grow in places where other crops cannot be grown, such as rocky, sloping land.
4.

In order to thrive, grapes require a location with good drainage, another great reason to plant them on rocky, sloping land. If you plant your grapes in a bottom-land where water does not drain around the roots, you will encounter more problems with disease. Proper drainage is a key point in growing grapes.
5. Even though grapes require well-drained soil to grow, they still need plenty of water during the first month or so after they are planted. After planting, water your young vines well, soaking the entire root. Keep the roots moist for the first month if possible. This will help the roots settle in and establish themselves.
6.

You will want to cultivate a large area around the base of the plants (at least 8 feet around the base). The roots of a single grapevine can spread out three to six feet from the base of the plant.
7.

Check the leaves in the first couple years; if they are dark green and healthy, your vines are receiving enough nutrients. If your vines are not receiving enough nutrients or if the soil is poor, add about 6 inches of compost in around the base of the plant. The compost will improve the soil, and add valuable nutrients for healthy growth.
8.

Train your grapevine on a trellis. The trellis can be made from wood, wrought iron or PVC pipe with wire strung across it, or a combination of any of these materials. Training the vines to climb the trellis can be tricky. It is sometimes difficult to get the young vines pointed in the right direction. You may have to move them often in the first season to get them going where you want them to grow. Once you have worked with them, and get them growing in the right direction, they are easier to maintain. For more on this topic, please visit How to Construct a Grape Trellis. Pruning will also help you in your quest to train your vines on the trellis.
9.

Pruning diverts the energy from the roots and vines into the fruit. If you do not prune, you will have less fruit, and that fruit will be smaller in size. Pruning should be done in late February or early March in most areas (earlier in warm areas like California) - after the roughest part of winter is over, but before the vine starts to grow for the new season. New vines grow from buds on last year's vines. If left unchecked, the vines will become an unruly mess. There are many rules for pruning, so be sure to check out articles or books devoted specifically to pruning before diving in. The following are some general rules:
* You should always trim off lateral shoots (shoots growing out to the side). This type of shoot is not very fruitful and should always be removed, unless you want the vine to grow into a support cane on the trellis.
* Prune new shoots back hard the first couple years to encourage the main vine to grow.
* The best buds for fruit production on a cane are the sixth through twelfth buds. Buds after that are not as productive and should be pruned back, unless you need them to provide stabilization on the trellis.
* Look for winter damage on your vines. Buds that are brown and brittle have been damaged by the winter weather, and should be pruned off.
* Keep your vines pruned to allow maximum airflow and sunlight to reach the vines and fruit.
10. You will also want to protect your plants from pests, such as insects, birds, and mildew or fungus. Birds will try to eat the grapes as they ripen. You can protect the fruit by throwing a net over the vines and fruit when it gets close to harvest time. Make sure the net is pulled tight to prevent the birds from getting caught under the net, and being injured. Growing grapes in a sunny location, with an abundance of air circulation can help cut down on powdery mildew and fungus growth. When checking with your local nursery, ask about grapevine species resistant to powdery mildew and fungus. There are several organic based products on the market today to help control both insects and fungus. A good source for organic pesticides and fungicides is Gardens Alive.
11. Harvest your grapes when the bottom and middle of the cluster are ripe. Look for rich colors and taste to determine whether the fruit is ripe. There are also testing kits you can purchase from specialty grape and wine stores. These tests check the sugar levels and pH in the fruit to determine whether the fruit is ripe. When you are picking your grapes, trim the cluster off with shears to minimize damage. Check the bunch over and look for rotten or unripe fruit, and discard. Refer to the article, How To Harvest Grapes, for a more detailed instruction on harvesting.

Growing grapes can be a very rewarding experience, but it does take time and dedication. You can also take your grape production one step further; check out How To Make Wine for tips on turning your grape harvest into delicious wine.

taken form the HowToDoThings website

hope it helps, send me a bottle of your finest if it does
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Originally Posted by randomdelusion View Post
Growing grapes is a complex and sometimes time-consuming project with several steps involved. There are entire books written on this subject. The basic steps are listed here; if you require additional information, please consult the other HowToDoThings articles devoted to individual steps of growing grapes.

hope it helps, send me a bottle of your finest if it does
wow....cheers mate. For some reason I did not find this level of detail on my first half-heartened foray on google. Some good detail there. Looks like the slope will help the drainage.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Originally Posted by randomdelusion View Post
Bottleshop, easier, quicker, why make your own wine? all you get is red feet and
a hell of a hangover
I have some good runs down to Murphys. Have bought some good stuff for under 20 bucks like Harry's original Shiraz Voignier 2005 and Thorn Clarke Shotfire 2005.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Anyone grow grapes in Australia?

Woohoo - ive grown vines here in the uk in the past and was definately something i want to do in Adelaide...
thanks,
Kat xx
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