Rainy Day Reading

After a few dry days, we’re back to winter rains with a forecast for an “atmospheric river” next week.

Yesterday, Eric Asimov of the New York Times published his review of some Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs he was able to purchase on the East Coast.

We enjoy working with a number of Pinot Noir vineyards and vineyard owners in Sonoma County.  Asimov reviews some great wines and wineries in the area.  Happy reading and sipping. Our family favorite pairing is Pinot Noir with Mexican food.  What’s yours?

Time to prune

As the rains start to slow (though we’ve got another storm rolling in the end of this week), we’re back in the vineyard and starting to prune the vines and get ready for the growing season.  Here are some photos from this week from a Pinot Noir vineyard in Sonoma County:

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Budbreak

We’ve finished pruning in the vineyards. After a couple weeks of warm sunshine and then rains, we have bud break.  The first signs of the 2016 vintage.  Spring is here. It’s a beautiful and green time to be in wine country.  Cheers!

Here are a few photos, taken this week, from a vineyard in Sonoma County:

Hannah budbreak 2016_01

budbreak 2016_04

For more about bud break in the region, check out the article from The North Bay Business Journal: Winegrape vines sprout in Sonoma, Napa, Lake counties.

Just right. Just tight.

As we add new wires, and replace wires in the vineyard this year, we like to do a clean, neat job.  This way everything is secure, will last a long time, and looks good.

Photos from last week of our work in a vineyard with wood end posts.

finishing wire

wire around end post

New Wire

This vineyard is due for new trellis wire.  So we’re removing the old

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And then we’re installing the new wires while the plants are dormant and pruned.

Here’s what the vineyard looks like without its trellis wires.  Naked vineyard?

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Million Dollar Question: When to Pick?

We’re in the thick of the harvest business and after months of preparing, tending to, and coaxing fruit from these vines we come to the annual moment of truth… when to pick?

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Sonoma County Zinfandel. Photo taken last week.

Winemakers across these wine-growing regions have been taking random samples of the vineyard periodically, squishing the grapes and testing the juice for sugar content and acid levels.  Mostly, we talk about brix, or the sugar concentration.  Table grapes that we buy in the super market generally have brix of 17-19.  Wine grapes are picked any where from 22 – 29. The sugar, ripeness (taste and whether the seeds have turned from green to brown), as well as acidity, and uniformity of ripening across the cluster and vineyard block very much effect the final wine.  So, at what point to pick is vital.