For the first time I really saw the benefit of our 42 degree from N/S row orientation. The end of June/beginning of July it was very hot here in Sebastopol, >90 degrees for a week. Very unusual for this early in the summer and it set records in several of the cities around us.
A lot of my friends with vineyards experienced sunburned grapes but we didn’t. Why…around 1pm when the sun is directly overhead, our grapes are positioned so the sun shines down the row and not across. (the above picture shows shade at 11am) So very little sun is shining directly on the grapes. My friends rows are N/S so they get sun on the grapes when it is the strongest…and they get sunburned.
I guess that extra 25% cost was worth it!
PS Later in the year if the temperature of the grapes gets above 95-100 degrees, the enzymes start to “cook” and you will lose flavor. Another reason for the row orientation. Let’s hope we get a very warm but not hot rest of the summer.