Crop Report From Wis.’ Largest Winery

Mark Ganchiff

Mark Ganchiff is the publisher of Midwest Wine Press, the leading source of news on the growing wine industry in the central United States. Mark has been a wine judge at the 2012 and 2014 INDY International Wine Competition, the 2014 Cold Climate Wine Competition, the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition, the 2012 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition and the 2013 Michigan Wine Competition. He also enjoys speaking at wine events including the Cold Climate Wine Conference, the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association Annual Meeting, the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and the Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Mark's articles about regional wine have appeared in Vineyard & Winery Management, WineMaker and several regional magazines. Mark is a Level One Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers. He lives in Louisville, but also has a residence in Chicago.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the article, Mark. We wanted to clarify a few things. The source of the information regarding bud loss was an e-newsletter that we distribute to our customers every few months. We find it important to share both ups and downs with our customers, so we chose to share this information generally, but did not include technical specifics. Due to an exceptionally cold winter, we did experience bud loss of about 40-50% overall. In your article, you question the winter-hardiness of Foch, but in truth, Foch fared the best of all grape varieties we grow here with only 10-20% bud loss; the majority of bud loss was among the other varieties (Millot, St. Pepin, La Crosse). We are pleased to have found that Foch weathered this year’s tough winter just as well as the rest of us Wisconsinites.


    Wollersheim Winery

  2. Irv geary says:

    I would agree that Foch is much hardier than people give it credit for. I had -28F in my vineyard near North Branch MN last winter. These were short lived low temps so we saw little damage. We will have to wait to see how they handled this winter. Foch has an up side that with these lows we will see some primary bud damage, however it’s secondary buds are quite fruitful. When we have have all primary buds we have to drop clusters as it will usually set 3-4 cluster per shoot, but will typically set two clusters on secondary shoots. In general I have much less winter issues with Foch than I do with other vines that are supposed to be much hardier so I like it and would encourage people to give it a try.

    Irv Geary
    Wild Mountain Winery