It is raining now!
We are thrilled, hoping it will continue. We just completed pruning Halleck Vineyard last week, very late for us. We attempted to fool the vines into not budding and remaining dormant by delaying pruning. How silly was that?! ;-) I remember an old margarine commercial with the tagline, "You can't fool Mother Nature." Wise words for a questionable product. Here are the results of our folly:
These are the old 3013 canes, pruned and piled at the top of the vineyard. We will grind them to mulch for spreading over the garden.
This is a close-up, now a week old. You can see buds breaking from the old dried vines. Clearly, not what we intended.
And here are the pruned canes, one week later. Sometimes the shoots grow 3" per day.
We are enjoying the gray wet conditions. It was gorgeous and clear for sunsrise, with spectacular colors indicating the oncoming wealther. The old addage held, "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning".
We are anticipating a great wine year. Rick and I created the final blends for 2013 yesterday. This is the most fun I have and should be illegal;-). We will be offering 5 different Pinots for 2013, including our Sonoma Coast, Clone 828, which had its sole performance in 2006. Those of you who were fortunate enough to enjoy this wine will be excited by the 2013. We will also offer our Estate Grown, Three Sons Cuvee, Hillside Cuvee, and The Farm Vineyard. Stay tuned.
The vineyard is no longer asleep. We tried to hold the vines back by delaying pruning, thinking that we could fool them into extending winter in their hearts. But we are the fools in our attempt to control nature. This is a dance with Gaia and she always leads. Humility is the name of the game.
This is very late to prune and the vines are letting us know. Even the lifeless canes seem to be pushing buds. Not so lifeless as we would think. So off they come, selecting only the 3-4 most vital to bear the fruit of 2014. It is an arduous process, requiring hand selection, cutting and tying every cane to the trellising wires. We only have about 2000 vines in our one-acre Halleck Vineyard. But it takes days with a team of three working morning to evening.
We practice cane pruning at Halleck Vineyard. We draw from the strongest canes that come from the center trunk of the vine each year to bear fruit. These are trellised vertically as the year progresses.
The alternative, which is employed at The Farm Vineyard, is cordon pruning. In this case, the trunk has been trained to split into a T and goes horizontally right and left. Shoots grow from each cordon that bear fruit. It makes for a beautiful vineyard, but is not as flexible as a cane-pruned vineyard. We can select canes every year that are the strongest, and even increase canes to increase production. You are restrained by two cordons in cordon pruning.
On a different note, I had a case of the 2012 Three Sons Cuvee delivered from storage this week to taste. We would normally not release this wine until the Fall, giving it a year on bottle. It has only been about 6 months. All I can say is, "WOW!!". We tasted it with our friends who joined the barrel tasting on Saturday and my single case was sold. I just had two more delivered for sharing with visitors. This is not an official release, mind you. We will probably release it in the Fall, as planned. But if you want to take a flyer (roll the dice;-), you can order it. There is not much and it will go fast. Just sayin'...