Saturday morning we headed out at 9:30 to visit the Vista Verde Vineyard. The vines are doing better than we expected. They had been poorly pruned and trained last year and we thought this year would be a recovery year. The vines seem to have taken well to our pruning though and were in very good shape.
The weeds between the rows need to be weedwhacked this week. There is a lot of very high Spanish Alfalfa in the vineyard. We usually try and plant a cover crop the will discourage this plant but it was already established here when we took over this year. It will take a couple years of cutting the grass before it seeds and planting alternative crops to get it under control.
This vineyard is very steep. At harvest we will have to rent an ATV to haul up the 30 pound bins full of grapes to the road. The site is too steep to ask a crew to go up and down multiple times with a full load.
Next we headed to Chaine d’Or. It is only 4 miles away, but it takes about 25 minutes. We drive down one ridge line, back to the valley, then back up another ridge line. I finished the Bentonite fining on our Chardonnay. I added the mixture to the chilled tank and gave it a good stir to get it going. Stefania was already in the vineyard suckering and green pruning.
Vines will throw ‘suckers’, or new growth from their trunks, and this has to be removed by hand. Imagine doing about 2000 squats over 2 acres. When we took over Chaine d’Or the spurs had gotten very high into the trellis. We’re also in the process of fixing this. It will take three years total. What we will do is prune the spur normally with two buds. We will also encourage a shoot or sucker lower on the spur. When this shoot grows, it will become the new spur next season. It’s expert work though to choose what to keep and what to remove, so it’s something just Stef and I do.
We headed home fairly early at 1:30 to have lunch and take a short nap. At 5:30 we headed off to pour wine at a charity event in Los Gatos. We poured four different wines, and were able to get home by 8:00 PM to see the last part of the Sharks game.