It is already February and all of the Italian variety vines have been pruned except Nebbiolo. We prune the Nebbiolo last because it breaks bud and comes out early and is very susceptible to frost. Late pruning delays the bud push.
The grape crop is behind in our area and all over the state, around 15-25 days behind schedule. A very cool spring can be blamed. Our recent weather has been on the warmer side but not enough to catch up. Our Italian grapes are progressing well.
My first observation of the crop is that we do have an ample supply of grapes, not too many but we’re not in short supply either. The next time of most concern is when grapes begin to flower and there we’re hopeful for some warm days and plentiful sun.
The harvest and harvest party are over. I guess it’s time to be looking forward to my 45th year of growing grapes in Santa Barbara County. It seems like just yesterday that this adventure began. I can’t let this past harvest go unnoticed, for it’s now three years in a row that we’ve had ideal growing conditions.
About four days of harvest to go! We have about 100 tons to pick, mostly Cabernet, Nebbiolo, Petit Verdot, and our small lot of Freisa. This will be one of the earliest harvests I have experienced in the last 44 years for a variety of reasons, none of which are bad. Our Harvest Party is planned to be right after harvest but this year, it will be four weeks later, which is also ok. We have a great deal of time to get things ready for all of you attending.