Finally!! Mom is back after her long tour of Europe -- Spain, France, Lithuania and Russia! It was hard to be away from the vineyard for over a month, but since her return July 10 we've made up for it by running up and down just about every vine row -- in both our Don Miguel and Doña Margarita Vineyards!
This could be a really great harvest, it turns out! Albeit later than normal, the set was very good; the bunches are nicely sized and evenly balanced. Our only problem -- but a big one -- so far is powdery mildew; the weather has been perfect for this vicious fungus! So our team has had to be constantly watching for any affected grapes in the vineyard and removing the clusters before any other become infected.
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Look at our Albariño clusters! Our "V"
system of training the shoots, visible
here, is great for balanced vines
This bunch and any that looks like it,
affected by powdery mildew, needs to
come out right away
Fortunately, the powdery mildew (also called 'oidium') has only affected Chardonnay; the Pinot Noir vines are extremely healthy and we're counting the days until véraison starts -- that's when the red grapes turn color and the whites become translucent. At that time, the mildew is not a problem any longer.
A good example of a nicely balanced vine in the Doña Margarita Vineyard, of the Dijon 115 clone. Just the way we love to see Pinot Noir clusters look!
The Pommard clone in the Doña Margarita Vineyard also looks great, but we will need to do some leafing -- as Zach here is demonstrating
Last Thursday we went to the Sonoma Coast vineyard, Doña Margarita. We haven't seen that vineyard look so good for years! The vines are still growing so véraison is even further away here than in our Russian River's Don Miguel Vineyard. We have three clones planted here: Dijon 115, Dijon 667, and Pommard. They all grow beautifully in this microclimate and provide different layers of flavor that complement each other. We can't wait to taste the 2012 wines!!