There is a wide range of Vitis vinifera varieties which
do well in our climate.
We have a freeze-free growing season of nearly 200
days. Late spring frosts which could damage vine
growth and flowering are a rarity so there is no need for
wind machines or overhead sprinklers.
The USDA hardiness zone is 7. Winter temperatures
can occasionally go below 0 F (once every 10 yrs.) and
rarely as low as -10 F ( less than once every 20 years).
We take precautions to avoid trunk injury by using 2
trunks per vine and by "hilling up" the tender vinifera
varieties during their establishment years.
The summers are warm and humid, but the sandier soils
allow for evening cooling and the Delaware Bay and
Atlantic Ocean provide some temperature moderation.
Summer rainfall is highly variable. Most accumulation
during the summer comes from thunderstorms. Despite
averaging over 3" of rain per month, persistent summer
or fall rains are infrequent and droughts are not
There is little
the vigneron can
do about climate
except to pray
to St. Vincent,
patron saint of