Whispering Oaks Vineyard and Winery

  (Seymour, Missouri)
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Fall Update

It was a great harvest this year.  It wasn't our best, but better than last year.  The hot weather really concentrated the sugars, so it should be a good vintage.  The yeast is almost done doing it's magic to convert sugar to alcohol.  

The stomp was phenomenal!  We doubled our attendance and had a great time.  We added a 3rd hayride to make sure everyone got a vineyard tour.  

The foliage is brilliant this year, the vineyard is gold and crimson.  Stop in for a tour and a picnic on the veranda.  The sunsets are so beautiful, the really make the color stand out.


 
 

May Showers

It's been a rather rainy and cool May.  The vines are looking good, but we've had to use fungicide rather early in the year.  We fertilized and are spraying for phylloxera as well.  It's all just general maintenance to ensure a healthy vineyard and increase our chances for a good crop.

 We had a nasty hailstorm on the 12th, but it looks like the golf ball sized hail did no harm to the buds.  

We encourage you to check us out on Facebook.  Nathan and I frequently post pictures, events, and other vineyard news. 

 The Slow Foods folks will be out June 25 for a tour and wine tasting.  Should be a fun event!

 
 

April Showers Bring Great Wines

After a long, nasty winter, spring has arrived.  We've had great weather for working in the vineyard the last few days.  The Catawba are starting to get their leaves.  This is a nervous time for us as we hope the temperatures stay above freezing.

 Nathan and Larry have discovered Eutypa (Dead Arm Disease) in the St. Vincent vines.  They are working to replace the blighted plants via trunk renewal.  This explains why our St. Vincent harvest has been getting smaller.  Literature shows that this vine is particularly vulnerable to this disease.

 The folks from Slow Food Southwest Missouri will be visiting the farm for "Get a Farmer Day" on June 25.  This should be a great educational opportunity.  Great people who love local products. 

Nathan sold a few more bowls and I sold a pewter grape cluster I cast in soapstone I carved.   Nathan is looking forward to making more things for the gift shop.  He tried turning some sassafrass.  Not a good idea.  The root beer smell gets too strong.

Hopefully we'll have good April showers and no late frosts.  Here's to a great growing season in the Ozarks! 

 
 

Marching Toward Spring

Lots of pruning going on in the vineyard.  The Catawba had a lot of frost damage from 2008 to clean up.  We are definitely going to fertilize, boron and love these guys back to good health.  They should have a much better harvest if the weather place nice for us this year.

 We will be at The Library Center on March 29 for a Meet the Farmer event with Slow Food Southwest Missouri.  This should be a lot of fun!

 The days are getting longer and warmer.  We'll be back on our Spring and Summer schedule on April 4th.  Our hours will be 11am to 7pm, 7 days a week.  We'll be closed on Easter Sunday. 

Soon we'll have dogwoods and red buds in bloom, then the leaves will start to unfurl.  Those are wonderful days to sit on the veranda and sip some Whispering Oaks Rose'.

 Here's to a spring with no late frost, gentle rains and some sunny days!

 

 
 

Pruning Season

We survived the blizzard of 2011.  Seymour got sleet more than anything.  All the snow and sleet are gone and we are in the vineyard pruning.  The mechanical pruner is doing a great job.  It really speeds things up for us.  

Our St. Vincent seem to be struggling at the south end of the vineyard.  It looks like they are staying too wet for their liking.  We're going to have to add more plants in the more sloped northern portion.

We bottled Catawba and Whispering Oaks Red last week.  They are really popular these days. 

 Come by for a free tasting and tour.  The weather has been perfect for it!

 
 

Old Man Winter

Old Man Winter is here and he seems to be staying for a spell.  The snow blanketing the vineyard is beautiful.

We're testing out our newly created mechanical pruner.  The first trial looks great.  This will really help us manage the vineyard better.  We have at most 3 people to do the pruning on 14 acres of grapes.  If the weather is uncooperative, it becomes hard to keep up with pruning.  The tractor mounted pruner will do the hard part of removing the overgrowth so we are freed up to do the fine tuning of the fruiting wood.

 Our wines are now available at Mama Jean's in Springfield, MO and at 2 local restaurants.  Mama Talis' Mexican Restaurant in Fordland, MO and The Tank Room Steakhouse in Seymour MO.

 If it gets too drab in the city, come on out and enjoy winter's beauty in the vineyard.  The view from the St.Vincent portion of the vineyard is breathtaking.

 
 

December

I have been a bit negligent in my blogging.  It's been a very busy late fall and early winter.  The new bottles from A Glass Container are wonderful!  We love them.  I am pondering getting some of their jars for home canning.  Jelly from our grapes...it could be yummy.

Now that the holidays are near, keep your neighbors in mind who have great local gifts.  Wine, hand turned bowls, cheeses, and other wonderful locally made items are unique, use less carbon, and keep our dollars close to home.  Our bubbly wines are a must for New Year's Eve parties.  We have a white and a "pink" that is just sweet and tart enough to partner well with most snack foods.

We are looking for outlets for our wine in the Springfield metro area.  More info to come soon.

The vineyard looks great, the vines are in their winter slumber.  We could use a little more moisture to keep them happy.  They will look so beautiful then the snows finally arrive.

May you have healthy, wealth, peace and happiness in the New Year.

 Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2011!


 
 

Spring in the Vineyard

April is almost here.  Time to switch to the spring and summer schedule.  We will be closed for Easter Sunday.  Monday, April 5th we go back to 11 am to 7pm, 7 days a week.

The vineyard looks much better after getting its late winter/early spring "hair cut".  The sickle bar mower did a great job of clearing through the worst of the canes.  It really let us get the vines back to the cordons.  The Catawba were absolutely wild looking.  They are the most vigorous of all the varieties we grow and they are the least fun to prune.  

It looks like the vines are slowly waking up.  As long as the nights stay cool, the risk of losing buds to a frost is reduced.  This is probably the most anxious time of the year for us.  Harvest means all is well so it is good stress.  Spring makes you sit and wait and hope you make it through without a sneaky killing frost. Mother Nature can be fickle.  2008 was the worst.  Many Missouri vineyards lost their harvest.  Ours was significantly reduce by that late frost.  

We are looking forward to spring and summer.  Come by and have a picnic on the veranda.  Enjoy a beautiful day in the Ozarks with some good food and a glass of wine.

Happy Easter! 


 
 

Spring is on it's way!

February is the shortest month on the calendar, thank goodness!  This month brought snow, rain, wind and cold temperatures.  Today it was over 50 degrees.  Strange weather when El Nino is in full swing.

 We finally made it to the vineyard for some pruning.  Things look very good so far.  We're almost out of the coldest part of the season.  We are expecting rain, which will make the vineyard soggy again.  Pruning is vital to a healthy, productive vineyard.  We'll just have to slog on and get it done.

Valentine's Weekend was great!  Lot's of folks out with their sweeties.  Visiting the winery and vineyard is a great cure for cabin fever.  The promise of the summer can be seen in the vines.  It makes the gray days of winter a little warmer.  

If you have any questions about vineyard management, feel free to visit, give us a call or fire off an email.  The best way to learn about vines and wines is hands on experience.

Stay warm, spring will be here before you know it!

 
 

January

We are on our winter schedule.  We may get to do some pruning now that the temperatures are bearable.  The first week of the year was abnormally cold.  Hopefully, there isn't too much frost kill to remove.

 Nathan now has his wooden bowls on Etsy.  Another venue to sell his artwork.  We also joined the Missouri Tourism website VisitMo.  This should be a great opportunity for us.

We are looking at visiting the small fruit and vegetable producers conference in February.  They partnered with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to emphasize agritourism this year.  Great speakers from the Mountain Grove Fruit Station, MU Extension centers, Lincoln University and MSU.  Tours of local producers and many people in the value added agriculture business.

 Stay warm and give us a visit soon!

 
 

Fall Is Here!

Wow!  It is November 1st already! 

Things have slowed down since harvest.  We've done some bottling to catch up with sales.  The reds have been taken off their skins and put into barrels to rack.  The whites should be ready in January. The flavors are great so far, despite the large amout of rain we've had this year and the very cool summer temperatures.    

We are working on an experimental batch of peach wine.  A local orchard had a large number of "ugly peaches" and wondered if we could try to make some wine from the pressed peaches.  My fingers are crossed.  I love peach wine!

 Nathan is getting a lot of turned wood projects done.  Beautiful oak, cherry, honey locust and walnut bowls, vases, and boxes will be added to the works he has on display now.  He also has some wine bottle stoppers made of burl wood that are gorgeous.  The are heirlooms in the making.  Most of his materials come from the farm.  The trees are usually damaged, diseased or felled by one of the many storms we had this summer. 

We are looking into having a tasting on the day after Thanksgiving.  A nice relaxing event that involves no malls, traffic jams, parking lot trolling or long walks to the door.  Free tasteing and lots of great gift ideas, many of them produced by local artisans.


 
 
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