April Showers Bring…
Headaches. That’s what April showers bring. Oh, ok, toss some May flowers in as well, but right now the recurrent rain is really starting to get old. As I write this, we are at 400% of normal for the first 10 days of April. And there is rain in the forecast for 5 of the next 7 days. Now I know it sounds a lot like whining- heck, that is exactly what it is- however, I am also trying to drive the point home that it has been an unusually rainy April.
Another rainy day…
As of right now, we are almost two weeks behind where we were last year- much of it due to the rain and cooler than average temps. This is both good and bad. Good, because the cooler temps helps mitigate the threat of mildew always lurking due to all of the rain. Bad, because the cooler temps means an increase in the chance of a major frost event (in fact, we had our first frost scare on Sunday when the temperature dropped to just below 32F). Good, because the rain generally keeps the conditions from going below freezing. Bad, because the rain has saturated the ground so we can’t get in to mow the vigorous ground cover, which means we can’t get in to do mildew control and the lack of air-flow from the tall vegetation traps the cold air next to the vines. What can I say? It’s complicated.
Cover crop getting a little out of hand
Aside from all of the rain and the cover crop going all gangbusters because of it, bud break is upon us. About a third of all the blocks have some form of growth, with up to 5 inches worth in the case of Sangiovese and Grenache. All of the pruning is done, wires are dropped, repairs done, and we even got in to mow in the lower areas where the rain drains to. Now if the rains would just stop…I think everyone here is ready for a little spring sunshine…
Tender (and vulnerable) growth
Especially since our second bottling of the year is on Monday- where, yes, there is rain forecasted. Blending was done last week and currently we are filtering the last of the 2014 wines that are to be bottled. Up for bottling is our 2014 Reserve Syrah, 2014 Mourvedre, 2014 Bête Noire, 2014 La Bohème, 2014 Malbec, 2014 Petit Verdot, and our 2015 Syrah. With all of this bottling, we have generated quite a few empty barrels…if you are in the market for a wine barrel, we have several for sale. Well, we did, but after our wine club pick-up weekend, a few may have gone home with some of our members. The cost is $52 for club members and $65 for non-members. Aside from the obvious job of holding wine, barrels have a variety of uses- from furniture to additions to your smoker or barbecue, the possibilities are endless…just like the rain!