Sunday, January 11, 2009

Crimson Clover Pruning

Yesterday was a beautiful day to be outside. It was sunny but cool and no wind to speak of. We were working with the same crew from the day before. We're still way ahead of schedule and we thought we could probably finish this vineyard in one day, including clean up of the cuttings.

The Crimson Clover vineyard is in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains just outside of the town of Morgan Hill. The crew always likes working in this vineyard because it's a moderate 4-5% slope and a clean VSP system. We've managed this vineyard since 2007. At first it was a mess of suckers and poor training, but we got it corrected that first year, and now it's fairly easy to maintain.

This is us wrapping up for the day. Jerry is hauling out the cuttings. This is the worst part of pruning. It's like playing 'Pick Up Sticks' with 15,000 sticks, or roughly 1000 deep knee bends. I'm still sore today.

This is a picture of a finished vine. You can see the vines are still pretty young. This vineyard was put in in 2005 but since the pruning wasn't right the first two years it's really more like a 4 year old vineyard than a five year old.

The vineyard owners were out to see how things were going. I told them we're very happy with this vineyard and we think it will be a star for us. Tasting the 2008 wine in barrel before Christmas I thought it was the best wine I'd made at that stage. It's deep, dark and multi layered with tons of ripe fruit. We have it in 2/3 new oak right now, and I think this will be a great wine. I'm really excited for this vineyard in 2009. We're going to put in even more work with it this year.
We're hoping we can get the yield to about 3 tons, and make 150 cases or so. That will be the limit for this site though so it will always be a small production wine for us.
And the final picture is my self portrait for the day. I was actually trying to take a picture of the Crimson Clover coming up, but what the heck.

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