Beer and wine country not by accident

Oregon is the number 2 hop grower after Washington in the nation. Many of the states micro brews owe their flavor to Oregon hops and many hop fields are still in production soly because of these beers.

Oregon is roughly the climatic equivalent to the Burgundy wine region of France. It was staff at Oregon state who figured out the science to matching grape varieties to region.

Grapes and Hops

What i like about this project is the double ...triple use of space. We need fences; keeps our livestock and pets in, keeps other people and their pets out of our hard work etc. The downside is they are not very aesthetic and can complicate site management by making weed control along them hard.

While I have not been able to beat the weed issue yet, the site does look better and is more useful when the fence doubles as a growing trellis. I did spray the fence line with round up but that really only a partial solution, I need to seriously focus on a better way to control the weeds here. adding more species to the poly culture would be a good start...

the grape hop poly culture early spring

The grapes are European wine varieties. I have a hodgepodge of varieties. Pinot noir, Chardonay do fine here and I see why most grapes near by are Pinot gris, it does the best here.

The hops are not doing as well. They tend to get spider mites bad and it's hard to water them. This year I'm working on a drip irrigation that will make watering easier. This is the only problem with the pairing; hops and wine grapes have divergent requirements. Hope like rich well water soil and the French philosophy states that the best wine comes from vines that suffer a bit (water stressed and nutrient poor). My spacing maybe a bit tight (6 feet between plants of the same species, every three feet hop, grape hop etc.)

Most wine grapes are not grown on the valley floor here and this is part of the reason I believe. The other is the growing season is a bit longer in the uplands because the cold air pours off the slopes, onto sites like the Yeoman site.

This is a work in progress, hopefully irrigation will help the hops overcome the spider mites. Sorry, the picture is a bit early in the season, the hops are not even up yet. More pictures later.

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