Friday, August 07, 2009

Grape Update! Hot Tub and Chaine d'Or

Stef took this picture of the grapes by the 'Haut Tubee' Thursday. These are Syrah and you can see they have just about finished changing from hard little green blobs to purple grapes. They look really healthy and are a good size, not too big, not too small. I'm not sure why the birds haven't started on these clusters yet, but then the birds are weird.

They pick one plant, and one cluster and keep coming back until that cluster is cleared out. Then they will pick another cluster and start on that. Multiple birds will eat from the same cluster, or they may all eat from different clusters, but individual birds return to their same cluster until it's picked clean. It doesn't seem to matter how ripe it is. I think it has more to do with how good the landing area is and how clear it is for them to escape in a hurry.

We also stopped by Chaine d'Or this morning. Jerry was there starting on netting and I needed to give him special instructions since we only net parts of the vineyard.

Stef and I got to walk through the rows though and it looks spectacular. We forgot the camera, so no pictures, but the grapes are just starting to turn. The load looks good and the clusters healthy. We're very excited. The retraining we've done since taking over really seems to have helped the cluster size and light penetration. This should be some great fruit. The only set back is that the small amount of Petit Verdot has a virus that is getting worse. I told Jerry not to net it, there is no way it will get ripe with red leafs. Next year I'll think about re-grafting those plants.

I promise I'll get the camera out over the next couple weeks as we finish up netting.


Dave said...

Curious as to how grape viruses work.
If you graft isn't the virus simply going to infect the new growth, or is it somehow contained to the existing green wood, in which case can't you just cut off the affected canes?

Paul Romero said...

You have to find where in the plant the virus is and cut back past that. There is a chance it could have moved into the rootstock, then you'd have to replant. A virus can move through new and old wood.

These particular plants have had problems since Jerry planted them in 1987. I'm guessing that the clonal material was infected and we will have to cut back to the rootstock. I'd then graft new buds into the rootstock and hope they take. If the new grafts show infection, then the rootstock would have to come out also.