Plants talk to me. Not in the same way some of my west-county neighbors communicate with fairies or past lives, more like how looking in the mirror makes you have an internal conversation. Most of the leaves are gone by now and we had quite a few frosty nights, a signal to vintners that pruning can begin. As I walk down the rows and begin choosing where to make the next pruning cut I look for signs; are there any signs of damage from the smoke that engulfed the vines in August? Do the vines show any sign that the low rainfall is affecting their habit? Do they know we are in the middle of a pandemic? The answer is a resounding triple "No" which causes me to smile internally and settle into a meditative working rhythm. Clip, Clip, pull some canes. Clip, clip, count the spurs. Pretty soon the hands work on auto-pilot and the mind is free to roam, and as it does - you start to realize a great calm has descended on you. The sun will continue to send energy towards us, the days will soon get longer and a new cycle will begin. The buds that carry within next fall's vintage are staring me in the face and telling me to relax, all will be well in the long run.
2020 marked the first crop of Pinot Noir from the two acres I replanted in the spring of 2018. I am, so far, ecstatic about the quality of the wines we produced from the two clones and will wait till late spring to decide whether any of it merits a single vineyard bottling. 2021 will be the first crop for the new Grenache block, at this point I plan to use it for the Watergirl Rose on the first year and then develop it for high quality Grenache to use with the Syrah or maybe as a single varietal.
DID YOU KNOW?
Genetic science estimates that grapevines have been around for 65 million years! Humans have been around about 2 million years