April showers bring May flowers, but where are the showers? Last year we had seven inches of rain in April. This year we had none in March or April and it doesn’t look like we have any more coming. Grapes are not big users of water but they do need it.
The most important task that we do in the vineyard is pruning. This morning I was driving my 2004 Ford F-150, “The Dustmobile”, through two rows of grapevines, admiring the pruning job. What we do in January and February determines what kind of grapes we get in September and October
The long-lasting effects of "Sideways" on the Santa Barbara wine industry are well-documented. The Oscar-winning comedy from 2004 romanced Pinot Noir while delivering a blow to Merlot. Pioneer vintner Louis Lucas, who’s been growing wine grapes for close to five decades, saw it happen firsthand.
We expect to be finished pruning by the end of this week and will be tying by mid next week, just in time to avoid knocking the buds off when we tie to the trellis system. Budding out this early will cause us to have a prolonged frost season. More rain would help protect the crop. At high moisture levels, frost damage is less severe. It still makes for a long time to be on call for frost protection.