Monday, May 30, 2011

The Vineyard - Now

Tiny clusters already forming.

New growth at Charles Vineyard.
This time of year the vines are starting to need warm, sunny days to really take off. Small clusters, like the ones in the top photo, are already forming, and the tiny yellow flowers will soon emerge. With some luck, those flowers eventually turn into grape berries. Unfortunately, the weather doesn't seem to want to cooperate quite yet this year.

So far, it's actually been a mild spring in Anderson Valley. We've only had a handful of frost nights where we had to turn on frost protection. All the winter weather hit before the vines had emerged from dormancy, so none of the snow, hail, or big rains were an issue.

What we're now worried about is getting enough heat to ripen the grapes before fall weather hits. Last year - 2010 - was one of the latest harvests we've ever had. We picked about three weeks later than an average year. Luckily, we also picked several weeks before fall weather arrived (aka rain). If we have another cool summer, then we could be looking at the same problem. However, with just a bit of sun and warmth, the vines are quick to catch up to their normal time frame.

It's not panic time yet, but with farming it's always time to worry!

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