The first 7 acres of grapevines were planted in 2000. An additional 7 acres were planted in 2001. The first harvest of these vines was in August of 2003. The latest acre of Vignoles was planted in 2009. We currently grow four varieties of grape: Traminette, Chambourcin, Vignoles, and Norton (Our state grape here in Missouri!). However, Seyval will be added to the vineyard in Spring 2022.
Cave Vineyard’s 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 for growing grapes 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 knew 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 utilize the same trellis system.