This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Look over ripe Grapes at least twice weekly and remove all berries that are showing signs of decay, and let such bunches as exhibit a tendency to decay or shrivelling be sent to table first. Keep the night temperature at from 45° to 50°, according to the external temperature, and everything about the vinery dry. When a bright day occurs, put a little extra heat into the pipes and give air at front and top; but when it is wet or foggy, keep the house almost closed, with a little heat in the pipes to keep the air in motion. Where it is necessary to put plants in the vinery, it is much better to bottle the Grapes, placing them in a dry room with an equable temperature of about 45°. Cut the shoot off, as is common in the case of spur-pruning, leaving all beyond the bunch also, and place the bottom part in bottles of water with a few pieces of charcoal in each. Look to the bottles occasionally and make up the water, at the same time removing all signs of decaying berries. After the fruit are bottled, the Vines can be pruned, &c; and plants requiring a cool airy place can be placed in the vinery, where such is a necessity. But vineries should never have plants in them that are very subject to insects, especially thrip or white - bug.
Pot - Vines that are required to supply the earliest Grapes next season should now be started. If the weather is mild, they may be subjected to a temperature of about 55°, with a rise of 5° by day, till the buds begin to swell. Some forcers advocate starting pot-Vines at a much higher temperature till the buds burst into growth - by which means a step in earliness is gained, no doubt, but at the expense of an even and strong start. If a little bottom-heat can be applied, it will hasten their breaking; but this must not be too freely applied, or a root - growth at the expense of top-growth will be the result. Syringe the Vines with tepid water several times daily till the start, and keep them steadily moist at the root. All Vines from which the fruit are cut should now be pruned and put in order for starting in due course. Those who contemplate planting young Vines in new borders in spring, should have their Vines ordered or selected before the best of them are all sold. "Well-ripened Vines raised from eyes struck last spring we consider best for planting, and thorough ripeness and fine fibry roots are of much more importance than merely thick canes - which thickness often represents weakness.
Soil, too, should be collected, weather permitting, for the borders - a moderately heavy loam, the top five or six inches of old pasture-land, being preferable. The site of the border should be thoroughly bottomed and drained, so that it be impossible for water to stagnate on it.
Keep Vines cool from which the Grapes are all cut, and syringe the foliage three or four times weekly to keep it clean and healthy. See that the inside borders are not over-dry. They should have a good watering as soon as the fruit is all cut. Keep all Grapes colouring freely aired night and day, by having the front ventilators open about 3 inches, and the top ones to half that extent. If the borders are in want of water when colouring commences, give them a thorough watering; and if not already attended to, mulch them, to prevent the border from drying and cracking before the Grapes are all used. The same applies to all Vines swelling off crops - water them freely up to the colouring point. Air all Vines early in the morning, so that damp be dried off the leaves before the sun gets powerful, and injury by rapid evaporation is caused to the foliage. When sudden bursts of brilliant sunshine succeed a period of dull weather, rather shade the Vines slightly than run any risk of injury to the leaves. This is very efficiently and speedily done by putting a handful of whitening into a pot of water and syringing it on the roof.
If the weather is at all summer-like, next to no fire-heat is required, unless it be for Muscats and other sorts requiring more warmth and a long season to ripen them properly. In thinning crops that are to be kept through the winter, the berries should be thinner than is desirable for such as are to be used before winter. Look over all Vines at least once weekly, and remove fresh lateral growth, and keep a sharp look-out for red-spider, giving it no quarter: a vigorous washing or two with clean water through a fine rose, and a coating of sulphur on the pipes, will check it. Attend carefully to young Vines planted in spring, and tie them to the wires several times weekly. Allow them to cover the roof without crowding, letting air and light play freely, especially about temporary Vines intended to bear a crop next season. These should not be allowed to make more lateral growth than two leaves. If not already done, lose no time in getting Vines intended for fruiting in pots next year into their fruiting-pots. Keep these in some light place near to the glass, so that they may get full sun.