In our last newsletter, we were worrying about the freezing temperatures. Fortunately, the buds were not open and we came out of that in good shape. Since that time, we have had bud break. We had a couple nights of freezing temperatures. We had a few vines get nipped on the Goodchild Ranch and four acres of one of our Italian varieties took a pretty good hit. As we always say, in farming we live with the weather and it is a tremendous influence on what happens in the vineyards.
This time of the year, the vineyard is very dormant. Leaves have all fallen with the aid of some of the cold weather that we’ve had. We are busy pruning, praying for rain, and taking a good look at the nutritional needs of the vineyard. There is always something to do.
We just started with the second week of harvest and we are getting our pickers fine tuned. Father John Finley gave us all a blessing, which was badly needed and enjoyed by all! Growing grapes and making wine has a lot to do with the wonders of nature. Sometimes a little bit of divine guidance makes it work.
We are at the beginning of what could be our earliest season yet. Little rain and warm weather have pushed the grapes early. Of course, now that they’re out about a foot, we are spending our nights watching for frost. Fortunately, each night has been borderline, but we did need to be there in case temperatures dropped near daybreak. We’re really just babysitters of the vineyard.
Harvest 2013 started a few days ago with the picking of a little Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Sparkling Wine. The past few days, we’ve been picking Valley View Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio in Los Alamos. There are many variables in each year’s harvest and the most difficult thing is having the patience to wait until a grape is at the point of perfection.