Weed control in the Napa Valley vineyards Sorry, it’s been several months since my last update, we have been rather busy trying to keep up with this growing season. I left you at the point that we’ll talk a little on the relationship between Vineyard management and the type of wine, or the style of wine that the winemakers are trying to produce.

We have been spraying, to control fungi, cultivating to control weeds and the amount of irrigation that we use, canopy management for the amount of sunshine and shade the grapes are exposed to, and now we are in the process of leafing and grape thinning,

Without getting into the chemistry of things, some of the more important aspects of wine is the color, smell, and taste. The darker the color, usually the more bold, or intense the taste. Within the taste is the fruit of the varietal selected. The phenol’s (aroma) of the fruit, and taste, are all related to the amount of sun exposure to the fruit, along with many other variables, such as irrigation practices, amount of canopy, type of ground and clone, and it goes on and on… I am trying to keep this simple, but that is what makes wine making so fascinating, and why every vintage and wine are so different, not only from year to year but from winery to winery, and vineyard to vineyard.

Around this time of year is when the winemakers and vineyard managers get together to look at the vineyards and crops, deciding what crop load to leave how much sun the bunches receive, irrigation practices relating to the stress value that the vines receive. All these management practices correlate to the amount of intensity that the grapes will have. And that in turn relates to the type of wine the winemaker wants to produce. Then as we get closer to harvest we keep a good eye on the sugar, acid, pH balance of the fruit and as it hits its optimum thresholds for the winemaker we then harvest.

I’m sorry that this is only the very basics that I’m mentioning here, if we were to get into specifics I would be writing a textbook, but this gives you some idea on the relationship between management of vineyards and the wine that is produced. Hope to talk to you next month if I have time, because we do expect an early harvest again this year.

Paul Saviez

Paul Saviez

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