Predictions for a “light” year in 2011

I must apologize for the lack of blog posts in recent weeks! Summer travels, a number of home improvement projects and the usual busyness of summertime in the vineyards have been keeping us away, but now we’re back.

Here’s what’s going on in the vineyards:

Projections have been made for a smaller than average crop this year across several appellations in Sonoma County, including the Alexander Valley.  Cold, wet springtime conditions over two consecutive years have made an impact, since the grapes actually develop over a two-year cycle.

“Differentiation” occurred in spring of 2010, when the buds for this year’s crop opted to become a grape-berry or a tendril.  Then, in 2011 the colder temperatures prevented adequate pollination of those that were to develop into berries…a double-whammy.

Sauvignon Musque berries

It’s a little nerve-wracking and unpredictable, but that’s farming as they say.  Some years, it’s great and some years–well, not so much.  At the moment, we’re busy protecting and nourishing the grapes we do have.

Irrigating the vines at our River Ranch

Regardless of the crop size, it’s a beautiful time of year around here.  The vines are full, lush and so tall you can no longer see through them.  (Of course, I’m only 5′ 2″ and it doesn’t take much to impede my vision, but I think this would be true for everyone.)  We’ll be sure to post some landscape shots very soon, so you can see it for yourself!


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