Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Checking on Vista Verde

We went last night to check on Vista Verde and make a call on bird netting. The vineyard has had two breeches in the fence this year and was attacked both times by deer. The damage was pretty bad, and we wanted to see if there is enough fruit to make netting worthwhile.

This is a steep difficult vineyard. Stefania is at the very top and the vines go to the tree line below. On Google Earth it shows as a total of a 248 foot drop from top to bottom of the site. Across the hill is Varner and Thomas Fogarty wineries.

About 1/2 the plants are damaged. Most look like they will recover OK, but they won't have good fruit this year. It's too bad because the fruit that was left was wonderful. Here are a few clusters at the top section of the vineyard where the deer didn't attack.

We decided not to net. There just looks like 800 pounds or so of fruit, and it would take 4-6 man days to net the vineyard, or about $500. That's not worth the expense for so little fruit. We will risk going without nets. The vineyard is fairly large, and the birds have not started on it yet, so there's a chance we will pull some fruit. I sent Jerry out today to remove any green clusters.

Part of the issue with the deer is that the damaged plants lack the leafs to ripen fruit as fast as the undamaged plants. Some of the damaged plants also threw a second crop after the fence was fixed. None of those grapes will be ripe in time for harvest. InOctober though they will look ripe to the harvest crew, they just won't taste ripe. We will remove them now while they are green to avoid any risk of them getting picked in October by accident.


marc said...

I think it's time to go bow hunting. Bring the gilly suit!

Paul Romero said...

You don't need the suit, these things are tame from being feed by the neighbors. It's actually hard to chase them away, they aren't afraid of humans at all. Nothing I'd like more than to BBQ one of these things and wash it down with some wine :)

Jim said...

Paul, is this your only source of Pinot Noir or do you have reserves from other vineyards?

Paul Romero said...

It's our only source this year, so we may have just a singel barrel. There's a chance that some fruit may be offered as we get closer to harvest, so I'll keep an eye out. KNowing that this was a likely situation though, I am adding some Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah this year.

Rachel said...

Darn deer. They were persistent buggers. I swear they mocked me as I huffed and puffed up the hill in attempt to chase them out.

Paul Romero said...

In a different vineyard I had to hit a deer on the ass with a shovel to get it to move. The gophers are really bad too Rachel. They will eventually lose the hillside and endager the structural foundation of the house. All because the owner doesn't think humans should harm things with fur.