1/2011 - 4/2011
past winter had plenty of snow and steady temperatures. Winter pruning
is complete and very little cold damage is apparent.
Graham of Fiddlers Green Photography took our prototype wines and created
some beautiful images. He is an accomplished photographer and is
available for hire.
On Sept. 3rd, we combined the
harvests of 3 vineyards, A Different Drummer Vineyard and RowSchell
Ridge Vineyard, yielding a total 1100# of La Crescent grapes.
So our makeshift, "unofficial"
winery is starting with 90+ gallons of white wine.
About 4 days later, we learned a
hard lesson in the grape growing business. Birds found our
vineyard and stripped away all of our fine looking red wine grapes.
Think Alfred Hitchcock! Thankfully, this is early on in our
business life, it was only a partial crop and something we can prepare
for next year.
Not to worry, Blue Star
Vineyard will be sourcing red wine grapes from other nearby
vineyards, so that we may continue making wine.
summer of 2010 had abundant sunshine, warm temperatures and sufficient
rains helping make this crop a potentially good vintage.
Proper pruning practices help minimize high humidity problems by
allowing for good air flow. Only the competition with weeds under the
canopy proved to be a problem with vine vigor.
Blue Star Vineyard also hosted its 1st
Chillin' at the Vineyard party for Founders Club members. It was
great to see many of the volunteers who've helped out one way or another
at the vineyard come out to see the 'fruits' of their labor. Here is
the web site link to our photo gallery page to see their pictures, click
The field of entrants was tough in this
year's amateur wine competition. Blue Star Vineyard came
away with multiple awards for the three wine styles entered. Our
first Blackberry fruit wine produced won a Bronze medal in the Central Illinois
Wine competition. While our La Crescent white wine took a Silver
in the same competition and a Bronze in the Illinois State Fair
More good press for Blue Star
Vineyard as we are featured in two different papers! There is
a very nice write up about us in the Woodstock Independent which
can be read by clicking on this
Link. The second article is in the June issue of the
McHenry County Business Journal. Click
here to read this article.
a farmer (of sorts) is hard work. During the months of April & May
alone, Jeff learned there is a difference between a 6 and 12 volt
battery and can now tell the difference! Also, under the guidance
of knowledgeable vineyard neighbor Ken, he replaced a tractor starter,
repaired a brush mower, and learned more about large, heavy tractor
tires than he really cared to. Who knew they have inner tubes in
them and are half filled with a 'salt' water solution!
In just over two
hours, 73 people planted 800 grapevines in weather that was
threatening but not awful.
Planting Day Stats:
Oldest planter: 80+ years
Youngest planter: almost 3
Members of Woodstock Girl
Scout Troop 553 earned a community service and outdoors badge by
'McHenry County Corkers'
wine club members joined in the fun.
Enough employees of
Woodstock District 200 volunteered their time that we could have
started our own school.
Farthest traveled volunteer:
Number of people confusing
our planting party for a farm auction: 2
Our thanks goes out to Gary
and Carol of Shades of Blue Horse Ranch for loaning us their
hay wagon again this year.
Our appreciation goes out to Trent for
a job well done. The day before the planting party, he worked
wonders with a Bobcat and auger by pre-drilling all our planting
Many, many thanks to all
those who continue to show their support and encouragement to
Blue Star Vineyard.