We are fortunate to care for a small Cabernet vineyard near by. The learning curve for us is caring for the vineyard correctly, as this action affects the fruit quality greatly. Not everything that grows on the vine produces fruit. Actually only two shoots per spur yield the fruit. Removing everything else concentrates the vine production to the vines with fruit only. This past weekend, our team went to work on shoot pulling. This is round two, and there may be round three. This was new for me! Pruning is critical for this stage. Don’t let amateurs do your pruning! Sulfuring every 12 to 14 days takes place to prevent mildew on the new fruit during this stage. We have warm weather coming, but we can’t stop yet.
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.
We have the four “B’s” going on right now! Blooms, Birds and Bunnies! But most important, we have bud break in the vineyard. Discing has started this week between rain showers. Driving by the vineyards, you see a line of green about 4 feet high floating over the ground as the new shoots of lime green have quickly developed in the last week.
We have bottling scheduled with many friends next month for our 2010 Zinfandel and Carigagne. Time to set up the barn and equipment and tweak the wine a bit before then.
Spring brings many local events to Lodi. This Friday evening is the School Street Stroll in downtown Lodi. Congratulations to Borra Winery for its recognition as Winery of the Year by the VisitLodi Tourism Board. Later this month, the fabulous Asparagus Festival is in Stockton, and we look forward to the annual Zinfest next month at Lodi Lake.
It is late January in the vineyard. Pruning is being done, posts and wires are being tightened and repaired, and new wines are being racked and checked for corrections. Bud break will happen in about 6 weeks unless the weather turns very cold. Everything is at rest.
Winery owners will be returning from vacations and competitions. Lodi wines fared very well in the San Francisco competition last week…Wow! Best of class, gold, silver and bronze awards in abundance. Wine club members are anxiously waiting new releases due to sold out favorites, whites are being watched closely for bottling come up soon.
The Lodi Wine and Chocolate celebration weekend is coming February 11 and 12, 2011. This is a fabulous event locally. The Cottages are booked early for this event and Zinfest in May. But don’t overlook the Spring Wine Show in March!
It’s harvest time in the vineyard! Harvesting equipment arrives the night before, and with the harvester pulled by the tractor, the gondolas, and the truck with the bins waiting to be filled with fruit, the equipment starts moving about 5 PM. Harvest is done in the evening, when the sugar levels are highest in the fruit. The cool evening temperatures keep the fruit cool while the trucks are waiting to unload the bins at the winery.
We are mid way through summer here in Lodi
. It’s been mild, delightful, and has just enough heat to help the vegetables. The grape harvest will be later due to the mild weather, and we are just seeing verasion, the development of color in the clusters. The pumpkins are in, the vegetables are ripening and the hot tub has been delivered to the Vintner’s Cottage.