We spent the weekend out working in our vineyards and getting them in good shape for the Spring.
We suckered, which means doing deep knee bends on each plant and removing growth from the trunk. Stef is still sore. We also did some deer proofing, weed-whacking and sprayed for Powdery Mildew in each vineyard.
Elandrich Vineyard in Portola Valley - Looks just a little slow this year. It's been a cool spring and the plants are a little behind. Not enough to worry, if anything that may be good and flowering will happen a little later when the risk of wind is less. Wind causes the berries to not flower correctly (called shatter) and the bunches to not have full grapes. The drought has meant less weeds in the vineyard and I'll have less weed-whacking this year.
The plants are all healthy though and things look good. We'll focus on shoot thinning next, then try new bird netting this year and see if we can't get 1500-2500 pounds out of here this year.
Morgan Hill Vineyard - Had a severe deer attack. It looks like we've recovered most of the plants, and I've got the owner to close the fencing during the day. We aren't expecting any fruit from this vineyard this year, we're just training the plants. We should have about 500 pounds of Cabernet Sauvignon from here in 2008, and 2-3 tons in 2009.
Llama Vineyard - Bonny Doon - Suckering was actually pretty easy here. We have bunnies! The rabbits eat the suckers of the lower part of the plant, but they can't reach the fruiting part. Bunnies are actually a help once the plants get established. This vineyard looked really amazing. There are some signs of Powdery Mildew, but we're on top of the spraying and not expecting problems. There should be at least 1000 pounds of Merlot this year.
THings look really nice, and we're hoping for a good year!