Vesta’s Vineyard at Brian Manor

Vesta's Vineyard at sunset

Vesta’s Vineyard at sunset

In 2017, Chris decided to plant grapevines, with the intention of breeding a special cold hardy variety that would thrive in this area. Native wild Riparian vines were abundant on the property, and he felt that using them as rootstock would help the grafted European Vinifera be more disease resistant. He taught himself the grafting process and began his experiment.

He started planting on the part of the property where most of the Riparian was growing. After a year, he decided to expand his project to the upper lot where Vesta’s Vineyard is now. Chris designed, engineered, and built the concrete posts that hold the support wires.

Over the years, the original 65 varieties of Vinifera have been winnowed down to a few good growers. The rest were eliminated due to susceptibility to mildew or Phylloxera, subpar grape clusters, drought or excessive rainfall, or late spring freeze. Fighting insects and hungry birds is an ongoing challenge, too!

Chris’s original mission continues as a labor (so much labor!) of love. He works in the vineyard daily, even in winter when he prunes the vines to get ready for the new spring growth. The cuttings, or scions, are then either rooted or grafted to create new vines.