Thursday, July 02, 2009

Full Moon Rising

Ok, hang in there with me on this one.....

A few years ago we had a really bad problem with Powdery Mildew in a vineyard. I tried everything, and still we had problems (see the previous tree blog). The next winter I asked everyone I talked to in the business for advice. One thing I was told was prune by the moon cycle.

I did a little research and found that from Roman times vines were traditionally pruned after the first full moon of the year and before the holiday of Paganalia (Jan 22nd). If pruning wasn't finished by the 22nd, it would stop and resume after the next full moon.

Well I figured what the heck, it can't hurt and we tried that. We tried about four dozen other things also, so it wasn't a scientific approach, but you know what? The next year was much better in every vineyard we had. I'm not one to mess with success, even if you can't prove it scientifically, so since then we've done all our pruning on the moon cycle.

In the grape growing business this is hardly flacky, wacky or unusual thinking. Everyone growing grapes is aware of this moon cycle stuff, and I've never talked with anyone who didn't put at least some credence in it. We're all just really waiting for the science to catch up with the practices we've 'rediscovered'.

So last night we did a small private event at the Capital Club in San Jose. We poured our 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains. Something I've always enjoyed in this wine is the note of mint and eucalyptus. The odd thing is though that sometimes it seems more pronounced, than other times. That could just be variation between bottles, but I've noticed it at times when we're opening multiple bottles like last night.

I've wondered if maybe it could be a moon cycle thing? There is some thought now on Internet chat boards that the moon cycle effects the flavors and structure of wine in the bottle. Last night the minty flavors were very forward and the wine showed really well. By total coincidence a friend in New Jersey opened a bottle last night and also had a great report.

So I'm going to start tracking the moon cycle on this wine:

I want to see if I do notice a difference at different cycles of the moon. If you have some bottles of this, play along with me. I'll open a bottle Sunday, two days before the full moon and post a note on it to get started.

1 comment:

Wes Barton said...

Biological beings are very susceptible to environmental factors. It's easy to imagine one's perceptions fluctuating with the lunar cycle - much harder that something it's something happening within the wine - in fact, I'd say it's a given. The question would then be: How important this one set of stimuli is to an individual in relation to all the others?