Some of you may look at the picture above and say “Yuk”, what are those odd looking grapes. Well, in fact, these are wonderful wine grapes but not so good vineyard grapes. Why? What you want is a combination of large, small and shriveled berries to maximize skin flavor yet provide enough juice for wine. I think 2016 will go down as a challenging growing year but a wonderful wine year…and our number one goal is to produce great wine and wine grapes!!! Here is what I hope to see a year from now.
– Obtain my first 90 point wine from the Prince of Pinot! (2015 Vintage)
– 5 tons of Pinot Noir, or about 3.25 pounds per vine.
– Continue our relationship with Hanzell Vineyards
– Control powdery mildew with spray/sprayer improvements
– Water the vineyard as little as possible for flavor and to decrease powdery mildew
– Control pH in grape juice to acceptable levels
– 500 pounds of Sauvignon Blanc with the use of cane pruning
– Simplify my personal vineyard workload
I believe in Global Warming, but I sure don’t believe in the the rainfall predictions from forecasters early in the season. Last year was supposed to be a HUGE rainfall season with El Nino…but it ended up about normal. This year is La Nina and they have predicted average rainfall…yet it looks to be very wet in Sonoma County. If you watch the national news we will have are having an “Atmospheric River” of rain…and we are having severe flooding in the area. We at Turtle Vines are not in a flood area but this was the worst winter storm since 2005 in Sonoma County. That one caused ~$100M of damage, hopefully this one is not as bad…let’s hope.
PS From a vineyard standpoint, a cold winter is nice to delay bud break and a good soaking late March, early April is fantastic so we avoid watering until July or August for flavor development. Just no rain May/June as that would be bad for powdery mildew and botrytis.
Average Rainfall 2016/2017 Season
October 2.0″ 5.7″
November 5.9″ 3.4″
December 6.3″ 6.0″
January 8.7″ 8.5″ as of 1/9/17