In spite of our unfortunate early spring frost incident in April, we’ll have a small crop, after all. The Viognier sustained the most damage and will yield something less than half a ton; the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon will produce about a ton each.
What does that mean? It means we need to buy fruit to make up the difference, of course. It also means the same work we’d do for 6 to 12 tons of fruit (the expected yield being two and a half to four tons per acre) has to be done for this small amount. So last weekend we had a crew working on shoot positioning and leaf pulling. Given the somewhat stunted growth from the frost, there is little need for hedging. Shoot positioning is simply positioning the canes so they grow straight up in the trellis. We pull leaves on the east side of the trellis to maximize sun exposure in the morning so dew evaporates as quickly as possible, and improve air flow around the grape berries and thereby minimize the likelihood of disease. It sounds simple but it is all very labor intensive. There are machines that can do it, but on this scale that’s an expensive proposition.
When all this work is done, this is when the vineyard looks best, all tidy and nicely organized, leaving one at peace with the world.
This means our non-harvest party will actually be a real Harvest Party, which we have planned for 20 October 2012. We’re still working on the party details and expect to begin publicizing it in earnest by mid-July, but we would like to get the word out that all past harvest and festival volunteers receive complimentary admission as our thanks for helping us. We hope you can make it.