In our Spring 2019 newsletter, I pretty much dared Nature to ‘bring it on’ regarding rainfall in our area. Well, this spring appeared to be the winter-that-didn’t-want-to-let-go. We had rainy conditions including a winter-style system come through in mid-later May just as some vineyards in Sonoma County began flowering. Fortunately, that was pretty much the end of those weather systems and temperatures warmed just enough to allow successful flowering in the majority of the sites I work with. There are still portions of vineyards that have very little crop. But from the way it looks at this point, we are generally looking at moderate crop levels with clusters that are like Goldilocks’ preference: Not too big, not too small…just about right.
One of the really positive consequences of this past wet winter was the opportunity it gave to perennial plants by wetting the rooting profile early and deep. You can see how splendidly happy they look right now at this mid-point in their growth cycle. Over the past four years my dad has been rebuilding/rejuvenating the structures of the oldest Zinfandel vines his father planted in 1912. The vineyard is looking great and we are lucky to have such a favorable year to see them almost turning back the clock a decade or three.
On June 1st my dad fell after working on the tractor all day, causing a hip fracture. Fortunately, after the installation of some “non-factory hardware”, he was on his feet within hours and home the day after that! Ever since, he’s been methodically working toward regaining what his 92-year-old body had been accomplishing with the daily work on the vineyard. After slightly more than a month, he was back on the tractor turning under the weeds that had sprouted as a result of the copious, late rains. May we all be as strong at 92.
You can download the complete newsletter here: Be careful what you ask for