Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

2014 Growing Season has begun

Posted by outthere, Mar 4, 2014.

We have bud break at Durell Vnyd in Sonoma


Reply by napagirl68, Mar 8, 2014.

Beautiful, OT!

Reply by vin0vin0, Mar 9, 2014.

Yes, very nice, and you received some more much needed rain?

Reply by outthere, Mar 9, 2014.

We're at about 70% of last year. A little over month ago we were at 5% so things are looking up. Of course the water Nazi's don't want us believing that. Fear is what they feast on.

Not sure if you read the news but El Niño is expected to make a comeback in 2014. Rainy weather is in our future.

Reply by dmcker, Mar 11, 2014.

Would be curious regarding more real info concerning drought issues in Sonoma and environs, since all I read on this side of the pond is journalistic sturm und drang (without the stormy precipitation) about the worst drought since biblical times and how all California orchard and vineyard (and supposedly truck) farmers are at the end of their wits regarding how much of their plantings they'll have to yank out and whether they'll have any future at all as the politicians further muck up water rights, etc., etc., etc.

Reply by EMark, Mar 11, 2014.

DM, if you enter "Drought" in the "Search the Snooth Forum" box, you will find multiple conversations over the years on the drought in California.  The most recent conversation is this one.  The fact is that none of us have much in the way of definitive information.  My argument is that there are just too many people.  With that and a couple bucks, you can buy a cup of coffee--at least here in So, Calif, I don't know about Japan.

Reply by dmcker, Mar 11, 2014.

That's why I was asking Outthere about boots-on-the-ground in Sonoma. Thanks, Mark, for the link which I'll now go to. The most recent thing I saw on the web was this out of Santa Rosa which claims worries about lack of water for frost protection have lessened in Sonoma, though are still very real in Mendocino.

Now when it comes to the fearmongering Outthere references, the meat and potatoes for some time now for oh so many politicians and lesser journalists or bloggers (as well as consultants, lobbyists and industrialists), here's something cute of a different nature out of the San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere. 'Agriculture must prepare for agroterrorism'?? Aside from kudos to that wordsmith I can't help but wonder how many gaping holes in content everywhere there would be if 'terrorism' was embargoed as a subject for a week or even a day in all media--print or online or broadcast. What could fill that vacuum? Being offshore for so long I've developed a different perspective, but boy has the level of political discourse dumbed down over the past dozen years (and don't worry I won't bring up Snowden as an example of how political and administrative practice has, too). One wonders if the proponents of pre-emptive preparations against such imagined terrorism might recommend that the Sonoma and Mendocino wine growers get the Mendocino ganja growers to consult on protecting their crops....  ;-(

Reply by Richard Foxall, Mar 13, 2014.

We've got to use our water more wisely throughout the state.  One danger in drought years is that groundwater pumping is pretty loosely regulated, and could lead to long-term collapse of the water table (not to mention those Florida style sinkholes--not as likely on the coast, but the Central Valley could suffer from them).  Planting rice, cotton and almond trees in the desert is pretty crazy, and wouldn't make economic sense if it weren't for our screwy water pricing policies and our particular legal precedents involving water rights.  You can actually get a specialized law degree in water right--it's pretty intense.

Now, back to that budbreak.  I have my first figs forming and buds forming, so I figured that while I was absent from this place for a while, this must have happened.  Seems like I need to find some time to drive up towards Outthere's place--maybe after he picks up my wine at Dirty and Rowdy?

Reply by outthere, Mar 13, 2014.

"maybe after he picks up my wine at Dirty and Rowdy?"

Is that a request? Not sure if it's bottled yet. I'll shoot Hardy an email.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Mar 14, 2014.

OT-Not a formal request.  I'm not sure what's ready and what's not, and there's no rush at all.  I asked Hardy to hold the Mourvedre until the S&E Sem is ready and mentioned that you have carte blanche to pick it up if you are over that way.  (I'm pretty sure I got most of my wish list fulfilled because OT referred me.)

Knowing OT is a very good thing, but hazardous to any attempts at a SIWBM.  Mine fell apart completely this week.  Couldn't resist the latest vintage of Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva, so then I had to round out the purchase... you know how that goes.

Okay, prediction for this growing season:  Cool, dry summer; biggest danger is a late rain or heavy wind at flowering that lowers fruit set and increases shatter.  Because of the drought, high concentration.  A third year of excellent reds, but lower crop levels than '12 and '13.  If there are major winds that lower fruit set, the crop could be really small, but it will be better than '11 in nearly every way, and more concentrated than '12.  I know everyone is raving about '12, but behind the scenes, some growers felt that they let their guard down a little after the light crop of '11 and let concentration slip a little. 

Watch me be totally wrong... and notice I did not mention the dreaded f***t word. I've already bet my farm against it.  (Okay, it's really just a garden.)

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