Tag Archives: vintage update

Grape Flowering & Fruitset

Well, flowering is finally wrapping up over this last week or so. This being mid-June, it puts us a solid two to three weeks behind “normal” – whatever that is. 

As I wrote earlier, the growing season got off to a late start but the hope was that we’d have some nice, warm weather and get caught up, or at least most of the way. 

But, all you northern Californians know that it’s been an unseasonably wet, cold spring. If I determined my location by observing the weather, and nothing else, I would have thought I was having a long stay with my sister, up in the Willamette Valley.
Two to three weeks behind normal isn’t necessarily bad. It all depends upon what Mother Nature has in mind for the upcoming months. A late crop means a late harvest, which means a better chance of a rain during harvest, which isn’t a good thing at all. 
You might be interested to know that the grape flower is a self-pollinating hermaphrodite. The flower contains both the male stamen and the female ovary and, theoretically, could pollinate successfully in a brown paper bag – not very sexy… Continue reading

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Another Wine Word: Frost Protection!

Windmachine

Springtime visitors to Napa Valley have been known to call the cops in the middle of the night to complain about low-flying aircraft near their hotel. I wonder how many calls the county gets per season… 

I’ll bet it happened several times over this past weekend because both Friday and Saturday nights I heard the unmistakable hum (unmistakable once you know what it is) of wind machines.  

What this means is that some poor vineyard manager had to get up in the wee hours (I heard the hum starting at around 2:00 both nights) and drive around the vineyard with his thermos of coffee checking temperatures and deciding if/when they should turn on the wind machine(s) to protect the new growth from frost damage.  Continue reading

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