Make no mistake. This vineyard is loved. But there comes a time in a man's life when it's difficult to walk up and down that hill, when it's difficult to raise those clippers, when it's difficult to lift that 5-gallon carboy and when it's time to say enough. It was a good run and it's time to pass the baton.
Half the vineyard is a jungle providing shelter for mountain lions, bears and you can imagine the rest. But the other half was hacked, macheted and hedged into submission. "I like to look at it," says the owner about those neat, cleanly shaved rows. The Queen often says the same, "I just want a vineyard to look at," she says, singing a song about how all I ever talk about is temperature and the mildew index. There has been a good grape set (the owner did manage to prune the rows during Winter), but there are only 6 or so leaves per cluster, instead of the usual 12 - 15 after the rows were given a crew cut.
Can good wine be made from hedged vines that have 6 only leaves per cluster in midsummer? Can a cocktail of Rubigan and organic JMS Stylet Oil be applied to combat and eradicate existing mildew on grapes?
Beware the Prayer of Jabez, the one that goes "Lord, please increase my land, please multiply my blessings." Be careful what you wish for. I will grab that baton. I will step up. I will take care of this vineyard for you. Behold, my land has been increased.
The clusters of Petit Verdot and Malbec are plentiful, but the vineyard has not been sprayed all year and powdery mildew, something I know much to much about, is in evidence. Since we have Rubigan left (in abundance), I'm thinking a good shot of Rubigan will offer mildew protection for up to 3 weeks, so that one spraying may get us through the season. And, Stylet Oil is said to be an eradicant for mildew. Can they be combined for one spraying?
|Very Neat Rows - Eye Pleasing|
The vineyard was "dry farmed" last year, meaning no irrigation was used in summer, and plans are to continue the same this year. With the winter rains we had, and based on last year's results, I don't believe irrigation will be necessary. And the owner says since they were hedged, the vines have been growing back. On average, about 6 or so leaves per cluster now. My guess is that more leaves will emerge and that in a month there will be longer shoots and that there is a possibility these grapes will ripen and who knows, produce the vintage of a lifetime.
What do the experts say?