Maintenance! Maintenance! Maintenance! Today we spent a few hours tying up the arms of the Pommard to protect them from the winds we’ve had up here recently. It’s a long process but we knocked out all but eight rows which we will finish tomorrow. There is miscellaneous tucking of some errant canes back into the wires to be done and that will pretty much complete the maintenance for right now. Everything is on track and looking good!
After that, Tom fired up the tractor and finished mowing the vineyard including the 115 and 777 clones. Now it’s time to pour a glass of Red Dog and sit in the garden with good friends!
Vintage 2020 looks to be a good growing season so far! For the most part, the weather has been mild and cooperative, and although we've had much less rain than normal, the timing of the rain has been really good. Flowering happened without incident which is always a huge relief. The pandemic, albeit inconvenient, hasn't hindered work in the vineyards; it's relatively simple to space workers out among the rows.
Currently, there is a lot of vineyard work going on! Here’s a look at the GUNSALUS vineyard in Russian River Valley; this from Glen and Pamela Gunsalus:
We're coming to the end of rapid growth (several inches per day) and have been busy with multiple vineyard activities over the last few weeks. The shoots are now in the catch wires and positioned vertically to allow for good air flow and eliminate future cluster crowding (once they fill out). Both are important for fruit development and to minimize mildew pressure.
Most recent activity (last two days) was hedging to keep vigor in check and to keep vines in balance. Our goal is to provide premium fruit, not to grow woody vines! Too much leaf area allows carbohydrate production, and thus, sugar accumulation, to get ahead of components of flavor development (ask the winemaker why that matters).
We've just started cluster thinning to adjust for variation in individual shoot size and fruit load per vine, another task to keep vine balance. Never a dull moment in the vineyard!