It's that time of year when my phone and email start buzzing with notes from people who own small vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Clara Valley. The larger companies send out their contracts in January each year and many home vineyard owners start looking for alternatives.
I have five appointments set up for Saturday at five different vineyards. This doesn't include the vineyard we did agree to take on and install back in October. They vary in size from 100 plants to 2 1/2 acres. Two are in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA and 3 are on the Santa Clara Valley AVA and in some cases the owners aren't sure what type of grape they have.
I'll head out and take a look at each one to see if any fit our plans. Most of the time they do not and we decide not to take on the vineyard. It could be a bad trellis system, or poor location, or even that the vines haven't been cared for properly. Often though it's just a decision on the people we'll be working with. I'll try and take pictures at each one and get those up next week.