I have been watching very carefully the vineyard this year to tell if the vines are growing according to position in the vineyard, position in the row, clone or some other factor. I have concluded that it is a little of all of them.
– Clone 667 had a smaller rootstock when we planted it vs Pommard and the vines to this day continue to be smaller. I think each year it will be a smaller vine.
– Vines on that are planted next to a highway stake grow faster than the ones next to rebar due to the warming effect.
– Oddly enough, if the vines have some shade they seem to grow nicely.
– Vines where I gave them more compost in the planting hole are doing well now, will have to see when the roots expand to the soil.
– Vines that are on the downslope of the row seem to grow better. I don’t know if it is because there is better soil or that the water will tend to go downhill.
– So far this year I have fertilized the eastern half of the vineyard only, but will do all 4 sections next week.
Work in June:
June 2/3 – 1 hour watering vines for 5.5 hours
June 4 – 6.5 hours – weeding, trimming and 3 hours putting on c-clips
June 5 – 3.5 hours – gophers, weeding, mowing
June 9 – 2 hours – gophers, weeding, watering 5 hours sections 1/2
June 10 – 2 hours weeding
June 11 – 3 hours – spraying37 gallons with 4 cups + 2 oz and watering sections 3/4
June 12 – 4 hours – 1.5 racoon/wood, 1 hour topping small vines, 1.5 hours weeding
June 18 – 2 hours spraying – 44 gallons with 1oz per gallon
June 19 – 2 hours setting up water system and watering all sections, it is now on a weekly timer.
June 25 – 2.5 hours weeding
June 26 – 2.5 hours weeding, 2 hours spraying – 44 gallons with 1 oz per gallon
June 27 – 2 hours weeding, 2 hours mowing
July 3 – Spraying with 44 gallons
July 6 – Found mildew!!!
July 7 – 2 hours – Manual Spraying – 9 gallons @ 2% Stylet Oil
July 9 – 2 hours – Spraying with 1.5% Stylet Oil, 50 gallons
July 16 – 2 hours – Spraying with 2% Stylet Oil, 50 gallons
July 23 – 2 hours spraying with Seranade
July 24 – 1.5 hours walking vineyard for mildew
July 25 – 1.5 hours walking vineyard for mildew
July 26 – 1.5 hours walking vineyard for mildew
If you have been following the blog you probably realize that Joey and I were trying to be very scientific about picking our Pinot Clones for our vineyard. We will plant these in the spring of 2010 at bare root vines. Here is our funny but true story:
1. We spent an afternoon tasting clones at Lynmar Winery in Graton. Probably tasted 25 different clones in different barrels. A lot of fun and we picked two intense clones that winemakers love…..Swan and Calera.
2. Found out that Swan and Calera are prone to viruses, so we contacted Merry Edwards who is the closest to us and she suggested Mt Eden to go with 667 that was our backup clone.
3. We ordered these in May. Found out last week the nursery forgot to order them and now they are not available from them or another nursery.
4. Called six other nurseries for available rootstock.
5. Talked to the winemaker at Graton Ridge who said clones are over-rated. He was more concerned with sugar content, vine yields, temperature during fermentation and pH. He said to plant what you want and make the best wine you can.
6. Picked another nursery to purchase vines from.
7. DECIDED TO GIVE UP AND JUST PICK THEM OUT OF THE HAT. HAD FIVE TO CHOOSE FROM: 115, 667, POMMARD, 777 AND 2A. I HAD THE HONORS AND PICKED 115 AND POMMARD.
8. Found out today that 115 from this nursery is not certified clean, so we asked our Viticulturist and he said to put Pommard with 667.
9. We are now checking this out and putting in an order next week. Hope it all works out.
Oh…..I won’t go into this but we had also picked different rootstocks….but what comes with these was not what we wanted originally but should work fine. Just have to make sure I don’t water them to much.
So the moral of the story is to just pick clones that grow well in your area and are in wines you like.
Let us know in 4 years if you think we made the right decision.
I wish this was a picture of our vines growing in a nursery….but we had a disturbing call. On Thursday we found out that the 3000 Pinot Noir vines we were going to plant in the spring are not going to be available from Nova Vines. The graft did not take well on one of the clones and the other clone DID NOT get ordered. OOPS!!! Needless to say, we were not very happy since they already took 2 payments from us. We have three options: find the same vines from another nursery (tried, but one of the clones we wanted is not readily available), change our clone selection to one that is available, or just plant rootstock and hope the grafts in the field work in a year. The only good news is we have now decided to add a few hundred Chardonnay for one barrel…..so that is easy to get.
Don’t know what we are going to do yet but we don’t have to make a decision immediately, probably have a month or so.
Stay tuned for another round of clone selections. I hope we get to do more barrel tasting!