Saturday, January 23, 2010

Return to the Vineyard

Now that harvest is over and the wines are being tucked away in barrels or bottles, it is time to return to vineyard duties. We have had some cold weather that has taken the vines into slumber and are ready to be pruned. It is amazing to me still the transformation that takes place in the vineyard from leafless and pruned to full of life laden with fruit.

This is where the first determination of vine growth and fruiting
on the vines begins. We look at growth from last year to help determine where the cutting should happen. The hardiest buds are kept and then look at where we want to encourage growth to even out the vine.

This year we are also taking a hard look at what we want to do in light of water needs. The vines were pretty heavily stressed last year to conserve water. This along with weather brought us a very light crop last year.

Here is an example of what the weather can bring to the vineyard-not pretty. There was a vineyard in the Russian River area that I wanted to get grapes from that looked like this through the entire vineyard. Interestingly, the adage that stressed vines bring good wines proved true this last year. They also had prolonged hang time that helped the clusters that did survive.

So with the last harvest a lingering memory, I am now thinking about the next harvest to come. I am also thinking about the economy and how wines sales will do. This week there was a symposium regarding this in Santa Rosa. I wasn't able to make it to the symposium, but was informed by friends that did attend that Tempranillo was named as one of three varietals that are going to be the next Pinot Noir........time to make a movie!

Back to the tasting room- In Vino Veritas- don't forget to stop by if you are in Healdsburg and stay tuned for the upcoming wine club- Cheers from the Mustang Winemaker

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