As vintner Merry Edwards puts it: “There is no other place in the world where all the right conditions converge to create the kaleidoscopic aroma profile and the rich, full texture so recognizable in pinots produced in our appellation.”
The vineyard, as always, has been a lot of work in May. On the 27th we got all the vines in the wires, a second pass of shoot thinning, twins removal and sucker removal. This year it was only myself and Bernadino, so a lot of work.
If you notice in the picture above, the Pommard Pinot clone has gone crazy this year! Some of the shoots are 2′ above the top wire already and I’ll have to hedge very soon before they get out of control. I talked to a few other growers and they all say the same thing…lots of growth. Hopefully it will translate to fantastic fruit later in the year.
This year we have “real” cane pruned arms so the act of suckering, shoot thinning and removing doubles is a little more straight forward. In the picture above I hope you can see that one of the positions has 2 shoots, a large one and a small one. Since you want the shoots to be strong you only want one at each location. So, you pinch it off. In addition, you have to sucker buds on the trunk and make sure you leave shoots that will grow into next years canes. It takes practice and a few years of watching what you did and the result at harvest and the following year to get really good at it…
Below is a picture of the good vine along. The last picture is our front vineyard. As you can see it is cordon pruned, so we don’t have to pick shoots to keep for next years canes. I know this might be to much for most of you, but needless to say, each vine you have to make numerous decisions in order to ensure good fruit this year and a healthy, productive vine next year.