Spring is here! A lot has been going on up here at the winery and vineyard. In 2015 an initiative was taken to construct a pond due to the drought that had continued throughout California over the past four years. In early November, the construction was finally completed. This was perfect timing for the start of California’s rainy season. The pond spans the length of a football field, holding five million gallons of water. Our natural spring feeds right into the new pond and with solid rainfall over the winter the pond is now ready to be put into operation. This will allow us the ability to frost-protect our vineyards as well as in really hot summer conditions, give us a way to dose out little amounts of water to the vines thus protecting the canopy and the fruit. The pond is also a great addition because it is a natural ecosystem full of turtles, frogs, ducks and geese.
Work on the vineyard started in full force over the month of February and into early March. All of our vines were pruned to allow for healthy new growth to emerge in the 2016 growing season. Each vineyard block was looked at closely this year and assessed to see what pruning method would be most beneficial for vine health and vigor. Vineyard blocks are different due to multiple conditions, such as slope, altitude, direction-planted, root stock, varietal, age of vine, soil type and micro-climate. Some of the oldest vines, which were planted back in 1968, were cane pruned this year to help with rejuvenation of the plant. Cane pruning is when one healthy, well-positioned long cane is left and everything else is cut back dramatically to have most of the vine’s energy focused on that one cane. Other blocks on the vineyard employed the spur pruning method. In this method, last year’s canes are all cut back to two and three little bud spurs. This led last week to the vineyards slowly waking up from their nice revitalizing rest over the wonderfully wet winter.
As for news from the winery, we are gearing up for a big bottling run. On deck to be bottled are several, very delicious wines such as 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Cachagua Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Pinot Noir, and 2015 Kiss of California. Hope you enjoy your current shipment of wines.
Margot Federkiel, Assistant Winemaker