Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

2012 Growing Season

Posted by outthere, May 16, 2012.

Thought I'd start a new thread rather than clog the Rosé thread with a drift.

As I was telling you Fox, bloom is iminent. I took these shots this afternoon at Copain.

Ready to burst at any time. Hopefully we have a normal weather year for a change.

1 2 3 4 next

Replies

75
2444
Reply by JonDerry, May 17, 2012.

Seriously, 2012 has been great so far hope it keeps up. There was a little drought worry very early on but we got enough rain to catch up. 

20
6160
Reply by dmcker, May 17, 2012.

All the rain's over this side of the Pacific. Rainiest winter and spring in decades here in Japan--seems like the rainy season started months early. Growers here (for what it's worth) have to worry more about mold/mildew/rot and the like.

I've heard drought whines all winter from the mountains in the US and Canada that were short of snow, but what's the true story, outthere, in Sonoma and Napa at least?

41
2563
Reply by outthere, May 17, 2012.

The snow pack was real late this year but they were still skiing in Tahoe in early April so what came late was substantial. We're off about 1/3 from a normal rain season but last winter was very wet and all the wells were recharged so there is no worry this summer. We'll just have to see what the 2012-2013 rain season has in store for us.

20
2595
Reply by Richard Foxall, May 17, 2012.

Thanks for doing this, outthere.  The pictures tell the story.  Here's hoping you'll update as season goes along. I'll be up that way in June for a dinner at Rockpile and will try to remember to take some photos up there. 

75
2444
Reply by JonDerry, May 17, 2012.

Well said OT, I have a good feeling about this year. We're due, afterall.

77
5
Reply by steve16046, May 21, 2012.

Fantastic picture...highly optimistic for this year's growing season!  Cheers!

20
2595
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 11, 2012.

OT, what the heck... two days after the Rockpile dinner (June 4 or so) we had rain, that following the strong winds of that weekend.  Then the wind kicked up again, and now it's scorching hot, at least in the East Bay. What's it like in the RRV and DCV today?  Likely that no one has cut back the canopy yet, but pretty hot for so early. 

It was very cool seeing the little tiny berries up in Rockpile--you could actually see the pollen still coating things.  Should have brought a camera.

41
2563
Reply by outthere, Jun 11, 2012.

The weekend was hot, in the 90's, and it's continuing today. 94 degrees at 6:30 pm. Doesn't look like it is going to dip below 90 all week.

Lots of vineyards have been caned already but there are still a bunch with wild ass growth. Here is a before and after shot of a Pinot block on Eastside Rd.

June 1st:

Looking down the same row a week later on June 8th:

 

Management styles differ from vineyard to vineyard and varietal to varietal. I passed some cabernet vineyards in the Napa Valley today that had unspassable rows due to the outgrowth of shoots and canes.

Dutton Estate here in the RRV hasn't even suckered their Chardonnay vines yet.

Word from growers is that this is starting out to be a good year for fruit. Their only concern is for how much fruit to drop since they are getting 3+ bunches per shoot. For example, take a look at this shot from the Bedrock Vineyard. Morgan calls it bodacious. 

As for the weather, this is kind of typical for this time of year. The past few years haven't been typical so many folks are happy with what has transpired so far this season. Except for the rain. Most vineyards had bloomed but my step-son manages Two Rock Ranch in Petaluma/Cotati and he said his vines were in the middle of bloom when the rain hit. They are late blooming due to their cool climate area  in the wind gap. He's in wait and see mode right now.

190
235
Reply by shsim, Jun 12, 2012.

Wow thanks for the update outhere, very interesting to follow the growth of the vintage. I wish there were articles on the growing process each year. It makes it more personal when you are drinking the wine.

20
2595
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 12, 2012.

shsim:  Get on the Scherrer mailing list.  They make a deservedly renowned Old and Mature Vines Zin, but I love their pinot.  Fred Scherrer worked for Dehlinger, basically apprenticed there, so he learned Pinot Noir from a master.  But the other reason is that the newsletter often discusses the growing season and the harvest as they are happening.  Of course, you can't just rattle his cage and get the kind of photos OT provides.

Speaking of which... that's a crazy amount of bunches in that picture, OT.  It's really cool to be in the vineyards as we were in Rockpile and see how quickly it goes from budbreak to bloom to those tiny berries that don't really look like grapes at first... I was shocked that everything I was seeing on the vines was actually fruit.  Mauritson will drop fruit based on the number of bunches per shoot, so they might drop a larger percentage overall but still have pretty large yields per acre this year.

It is cooling off a bit today, not quite as heavily foggy as it sometimes gets after one of these spells, but there is talk it will continue to cool.  Meantime, I've got some bottles I need to take down to the basement...

Thanks again, OT, it's awesome that we have someone "out there" in the fields reporting back. 

41
2563
Reply by outthere, Jun 12, 2012.

Still warm up here. 90 degrees right now but the wind is blowing with gusts to 30mph. Sure hope nobody tosses a lit cigarette out of their car.

20
2595
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 12, 2012.

We even have a law against it in California.  Doesn't stop some idiots.

41
2563
Reply by outthere, Jun 13, 2012.

You can't fix STUPID!

20
6160
Reply by dmcker, Jun 13, 2012.

OK Foxall Esquire, who was Paul Buzzo?  ;-)

Any figures on how many times that statute has been executed, then estimates in comparison to no. of times not?

190
235
Reply by shsim, Jun 13, 2012.

Thanks Foxall! I am heading up in two weeks around the Santa Rosa area, so will get to see the growth hopefully! Still figuring out which wineries to go to... Will have to dig into the forums! Any current favorites? My friend's family have a vineyard near Santa Rosa, so I might drop by there again to really see the vines (the last time I went was December).

20
2595
Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 13, 2012.

D, possibly apocryphal story at the bottom of this thread.

I tried to find the legislative history behind the name, but my copies of the Vehicle Code don't go back far enough--the act named for Paul Buzzo passed May 22, 1965.  I've got some feelers out, but if you want to find out if this guy is the real Paul Buzzo, be my guest.

shsim, that's outthere who deserves all thanks.  Next time I go to see my in laws, I'm going to drop by and swap some bottles with him... he's our man on the inside.

20
6160
Reply by dmcker, Jun 13, 2012.

Cute story about the precocious boy writing his assemblyman. Bunch of jerks on that board, though.

 

BTW, Fox, what do you know about Hinman & Carmichael, over in the City? Ran into someone who was telling me about their work in alcoholic beverage law.

We an obviously take this offline if better...

41
2563
Reply by outthere, Jun 25, 2012.

Back to the growing season. Things are booming and growers are getting excited about the prospects for this years crop. Growth is vigorous so far this year. In the RRV and Sonoma Valley's I've seen a lot of caning going on. If you've never seen that process in action it's pretty cool. The tractors have trimming attachments installed that trim as they pass down each row. Some have multiple rotating blades and others look like a hedge trimmer as in the photo below. One lapse of judgement by the operator and a few vines could be easily lost.

 

Here are a few shots from around the County.

Buchignani Vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley - Zinfandel

 

Rockpile Petite Sirah

 

Nice view of a finger of Lake Sonoma

 

Down South in Los Carneros sits the famed Hudson Vineyard. Look at the size of these Syrah clusters. Holy crap!

 

Lots of smiles among everyone I have talked to.

190
235
Reply by shsim, Jun 26, 2012.

Thanks for Sharing outthere! The tractor just do the top? Hmm pardon my ignorance but what is caning? Cutting off the canes?

41
2563
Reply by outthere, Jun 26, 2012.

Shism, the contraption trims tops and sides of the rows. Each pass trims 2 complete rows. Some setups will do 4 rows at a time. Takes a steady hand on the steering wheel. Yes you understood caning.

1 2 3 4 next



Continue to the end of the thread to reply
Back to Categories

Top Contributors This Month

847804 Snooth User: EMark
847804EMark
67 posts
1413489 Snooth User: dvogler
1413489dvogler
57 posts
1498622 Snooth User: Really Big Al
1498622Really Big Al
50 posts

Categories

View All





Snooth Media Network