Bud Break, 2014

If you enjoy wine, that’s fantastic, and Lodi is a place you definitely want to visit and  plan to return.  But if you grow wine grapes, the seasons of a vineyard are very distinct and unique.  I love Spring.  Everything happens quickly……Winter pruning and spring trellis maintenance, irrigation repairs, drip installation,  and cover crops lead up to bud break.  The buds break and quickly reveal the infant fruit.  The sulphur begins to get applied, and it’s fun to see the tractor ‘trains’ moving up and down the roads around us.  ImageImageCheck out the baby fruit!

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 Mr. D is putting in long hours during this tax season, and misses out on my favorite part of the vineyard seasons.  So, I took him for a drive Sunday to look at the cherry blossoms, bud break, local ImageImage

winery expansions , and to check out the new M2 Winery and tasting room on Peltier Road.  It’s beautiful! Image

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2014 Winter in our Vineyard

Our vineyard is pruned now. Several vineyards are actually being irrigated now due to the warm days and the lack of rain. At our last L.A.V.A. meeting there was discussion regarding the tentative impact this will have upon, specifically, vineyards statewide. Larger still, many grape growers also farm other crops. Last years grape harvest locally was abundant. However, if we have a catch up spring rain season, the impact on bud break and fruit set is concerning. If there is no rain at all…..vineyards will be off to an early start.

Vineyard Soil Health March 2014

Our vineyard usually shows bud break around St. Patrick’s Day.  This year, we were just a few days off. But the Pinot Grigio and the Moscato vineyard adjacent to ours was a little ahead of the reds.  Every few years, the vineyard rows are planted with peas, then disked into the soil to fix nitrogen for vine nutrition.  I love the flowers and took a few pictures before the rain came this week. ImageImageImageImageImage

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again!

Well, 2013 had zero, zippo, nada posts.  It began with a herniated neck disc that prevented me from doing  all sorts of activities, especially anything with a keyboard!  But I have consistently seen so many ideas about Lodi to write about that I feel compelled to get back to the starting gate.  To our guests that come to the Cottages on Armstrong for so many different reasons, there are fabulous festivals, wineries, any several different places to go and things to do.  So, again, I want to feature some of the jewels of our Lodi area.  Along with that will be the the inevitable things I enjoy from living in our little corner of Lodi.  

Today as Mr. D and I visited a downtown tasting room, I heard my words again express how much I love our area and the  lifestyle we are blessed to enjoy here.  

May Warms Up the Local Events

It’s May!  Lots of events and lots of vine growth.  The blooms are being pollinated in the vineyard.  It never ceases to amaze me how rapidly the vineyards change each week, no matter what the varietal is.  Each varietal has a unique management style…they way they are trellised, thinned, how the canopy needs to be managed.  We have warm but mild weather for this phase…good for the growers!

We’ve just had the Asparagus Festival in Stockton.  This month, Zinfandel is celebrated with Zinfest.  This three day festival begins with dinner with winemakers on Friday night, most of the day at Lodi Lake enjoying lots of wonderful food, tasting our local wines, especially Zinfandel, seminars on wine and food and live entertainment.  And that’s just half of it!  Sunday the local wineries host a wide variety of special events…food, comedy, music.  It’s a wonderful weekend.  This year our dates are May 18 and 19 and 20.  Mother’s Day is another special weekend at the wineries.

You can tell it’s getting to be boating weather on the Delta.  Passing through Rio Vista and Brentwood in the last few weeks, folks are prepping and launching their boats  and the eateries along the Delta waterways are filling up their parking lots.  Memorial Day weekend is a great time to be out on the water.  

 

Congratulations to Steve and Bev Borra, and Markus Niggli, the winemaker at Borra Vineyards.  Borra Vineyards received the Winery of the Year Award from our local Tourism Board.  They received huge awards at the Wall Street Journal Wine competition, and just scored in the High 80’s in Wine Spectator for their 2009 Red Fusion.  Did I mention that they are the nearest winery to the Cottages and they treat our guests exceptionally well!! 

 

It’s a full house this month at the Cottages.  We are looking forward to welcoming many returning guests, celebrating graduations, engagements,  and wedding visitors. We’re especially looking forward to having Roby and Carolyn LaPorte stay this weekend to celebrate their daughter’s graduation from UOP.  Roby and Carolyn are our web designers and owners of WowiZowi web design.  They brought their daughter to UOP three and a half years ago to begin college, and after an amazing four years (one in Italy), Ariana graduates this weekend!  They’ve been amazing people to work with and so supportive of our business and our area.  ImageImage

May Warms Up the Local Events

It’s May!  Lots of events and lots of vine growth.  The blooms are being pollinated in the vineyard.  It never ceases to amaze me how rapidly the vineyards change each week, no matter what the varietal is.  Each varietal has a unique management style…they way they are trellised, thinned, how the canopy needs to be managed.  We have warm but mild weather for this phase…good for the growers!

We’ve just had the Asparagus Festival in Stockton.  This month, Zinfandel is celebrated with Zinfest.  This three day festival begins with dinner with winemakers on Friday night, most of the day at Lodi Lake enjoying lots of wonderful food, tasting our local wines, especially Zinfandel, seminars on wine and food and live entertainment.  And that’s just half of it!  Sunday the local wineries host a wide variety of special events…food, comedy, music.  It’s a wonderful weekend.  This year our dates are May 18 and 19 and 20.  Mother’s Day is another special weekend at the wineries.

You can tell it’s getting to be boating weather on the Delta.  Passing through Rio Vista and Brentwood in the last few weeks, folks are prepping and launching their boats  and the eateries along the Delta waterways are filling up their parking lots.  Memorial Day weekend is a great time to be out on the water.  

 

Congratulations to Steve and Bev Borra, and Markus Niggli, the winemaker at Borra Vineyards.  Borra Vineyards received the Winery of the Year Award from our local Tourism Board.  They received huge awards at the Wall Street Journal Wine competition, and just scored in the High 80’s in Wine Spectator for their 2009 Red Fusion.  Did I mention that they are the nearest winery to the Cottages and they treat our guests exceptionally well!! 

 

It’s a full house this month at the Cottages.  We are looking forward to welcoming many returning guests, celebrating graduations, engagements,  and wedding visitors. We’re especially looking forward to having Roby and Carolyn LaPorte stay this weekend to celebrate their daughter’s graduation from UOP.  Roby and Carolyn are our web designers and owners of WowiZowi web design.  They brought their daughter to UOP three and a half years ago to begin college, and after an amazing four years (one in Italy), Ariana graduates this weekend!  They’ve been amazing people to work with and so supportive of our business and our area.  ImageImage