Vine to Wine Update – Summer Arrives! June 19 2017
The vine we are following this year is growing at an amazing pace during these sunny days after the recent rainfall. Our vineyard crew is hard at work raising the movable catch wires on the trellis to keep the new shoots contained and growing directly upwards in our Vertical Shoot Positioned trellis. They also spend time tucking stray shoots into the trellis wires. This allows the leaves and fruit to receive good exposure to sunlight and airflow. Last week, the crew made a pass through the vineyard to remove the suckers (unwanted shoots) growing at the base of the vine.
This time of the season is critical for disease prevention. Before and during bloom time, the vine is most susceptible to powdery mildew. Mildew on the flower structures can ruin the season’s crop. Late in the bloom stage is a key time for botrytis control as well. The dead flower particles that remain trapped in the clusters can serve as a source of disease inoculum during ripening. For these reasons, the intervals between our fungicide sprays are short at present and the timing of these sprays is very important. The vineyard crew is also busy keeping up with mowing, spot control of weeds and keeping our newly planted vines irrigated.
The vines are showing the first signs of bloom today (less than 5% at present). Based on the timing of bud break and bloom, this is shaping up to be a very “average” growing season after 3 consecutive warmer and earlier than average seasons. Later in the week, when bloom is more widespread, our vineyard manager will bring some shoots into the TR so that guests can see how the grapes look when flowering. Grapes are self-pollinating; thus, they are not dependent on bees for pollination. The pollen has to move a very short distance on the flower structure, and this happens through gravity and the breeze blowing across the flowers. Cool, and especially wet, weather during bloom can have a negative impact on pollination and fruit set. This week looks like perfect weather, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it remains that way!
Now is a great time to visit the vineyard as the vines are changing rapidly, the grass is still green, and the air is perfectly clear across the Coast Range foothills. We hope to see you soon!