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David Sparks Ph.d Huston Vineyards
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: March 15, 2018

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“It’s cold today. I think we lost about 30° in temperature in the last 24 hours. For the next couple of days we are going to be cane pruning and getting the vineyard ready for butt break.” It's the beginning of March and a cold snap has finally hit the northwest. At Huston Vineyard near Caldwell Idaho, owner Greg Alger has the family trimming fruit vines. A little early this year but necessary due to an above average warm winter, making plants think it is time to grow. “It’s been awfully warm here recently so we are a little bit concerned. That’s one of the reasons we bumped up our dates here so that we could get the plants shut down and slow it down just a tad because we don’t need but break to early and then get some first frost issues. Usually we have first bud break somewhere around the first or second week in April depending on site. Certain sites are a lot warmer than other sites are warmer than other sites but here we typically have bud break first of April. We kind of look at as a rough timeline and our harvest dates are usually October November.” Alger says the warmer early winter this year is much preferred over the 2016 2017 winter where record cold and snow killed off most of the fruit crop in the Valley. “So far things have been really nice but I always knock on wood because here in Idaho we can have a serious cold snap and we don’t need that right now. We are hopeful we can keep some moderate temperatures here until first bud break and then continue to have it warming up but much better winter than last year.” Now with cooler temperatures and even some snowfall Alger says it is a good time to visit the tasting room and discover the good wines Idaho vineyards offer consumers.

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