The first 7 acres of grapevines were planted in 2000. An additional 7 acres were planted in 2001. The latest acre planted in 2009. The Strussion’s focus their energies on five varieties of grape: Chardonel, Traminette, Chambourcin, Vignoles, and Norton. The first harvest of these vines was in August 2003.
Cave Vineyard property elevation is 650+ above sea level. The grapevines are planted on tops of hills allowing for cold air drainage. This improves the chances of the vines surviving a late spring or early fall frost.
The vineyard is planted in well drained soil. The subsoil in this area has lime deposits which help keep the PH at an optimal grape growing level which is consistent with the PH levels in the soil in Western Europe.
The type of trellis system chosen depends on the soil and grape variety. We have chosen the Smart-Dyson-Ballerina system which is designed to handle vigorous growing cultivars. We chose this system because our original plan was to grow only Norton and we know it would need a dual fruiting zone. We elected to use a vertical zone rather than a horizontal. We ended up planting other varieties of grapevine that did not require this system, however, each of our vines has the same trellis system