Get Set For Summer!
June- especially the first part of it- tends to be a pretty busy month. Between last days of school, graduations, vacations, weddings (I’ve got 3 out of 4 in the works presently) there is a lot going on. In the vineyards and winery however, it tends to be one of the slower times- particularly from the middle of June to the beginning of July (enabling the Irwin family to indulge in the busy-by-vacation scenario). As my family and I are in the midst of the last days of school and graduations times two, along with said vacation (thankfully no weddings) we are thankful to get some semblance of “downtime” where we can get it!
Some purdy growth we got goin’on here
Right now, there is not much activity in the cellar. In a few weeks we will begin blending for our July and August bottlings as well as our February 2018 bottling. Yes, you read that right…blending for a bottling over six months away. We hope to avoid a lot of the “hurry-up and wait” you get by doing the blendings and bottlings so close together. The only thing really going on right now is going through and removing all the older barrels…I’m sure you will see some up for sale soon.
The vineyard is where there is more activity right now. Currently, we are at minimum, 50% through bloom in some varietals, to completely through bloom and into fruit set in others.
Vine in full bloom
Vine almost through bloom
All the way through bloom and a week away from fruit set
This means that we are looking at a start to harvest in the last week of August/first week of September, which is a full two weeks later than 2016. This may seem like a late harvest, but it is actually a typical start date for us…the past three years have just been really early. There is plenty of fruit out there except for the Syrah- kind of an issue since we have a lot of Syrah-based blends. There is no particular reason for this, just the same old “ah, the joys of farming” that we utter at least once a week. The good news is there is no sign of mildew or mites yet. As far as activity goes, we are finishing shoot thinning, raising the wires, and opening up the “V’s”.
This summer, we have a nice little addition you may appreciate if you come to visit the winery. We have put down and environmentally-friendly dust suppressant on all of the roads. While everyone still must adhere to the 10 mph speed limit, it means that you can drive up with your windows or top down of your car and not look like Pig Pen from Peanuts upon getting out.
So, we are all set for summer…which always seems to fly by. Before we know it, harvest will be upon us!