The two main tasks that are taking place in the vineyard right now are leaf pulling and hedging. Leaf pulling involves removing leaves around the fruit cluster in order to increase air flow, sunlight exposure, and better spray penetration. Leaf pulling usually is only carried out on the east and north sides of the canopy to avoid any possible burning of the fruit in the hot afternoon sun. Hedging involves removing any excess growth at the top of the canopy. This ensures that there is not too much shade from excess growth and keeps the vine within its allotted trellis space. I have included a short video on leaf pulling, although in this video they are leaf pulling a little more vigorously than we typically do.
Click here for a short video on Leaf Pulling from Wine Spectator
The end of June will roughly mark the half-way point in the growing season. The most important decisions have yet to be made. These decisions include when to harvest, if any fruit should be dropped, how to keep the vines healthy late in the season, and how to deal with late season rains. At this point, we have had a very nice growing season and the berries are slightly bigger than pea size with bunch closure happening most likely in a week or so. We are about one week ahead of last year, so it looks like we're set up for a great year.
During summer, the vineyard keeps us busy. The cellar only gets attention when the vineyard will allow us to slip away for a day. So usually we are not in the cellar unless it is raining.
Hope to see you soon!