So why is it, when you ask for rain it doesn’t come, and when you don’t want rain it comes in buckets? I think Mr. Murphy has been in the Napa Valley wine tasting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the rain just its timing.
We were on our home stretch on pruning, when the heavens opened up. So now we wait for some sun while the buds continue to stretch even with the cloud cover. When the buds become active and you prune during that time it tends to set the vines back several weeks in growth because the vine is deviating its growth to the pruning cut rather than the buds. This could be a blessing, if in fact we get some cold weather soon after the front passes. We do this on purpose in certain places where we know it’s very cold, hoping that if it does frost the vines will not have emerging buds and leaves. But because of our last few storm systems some of our ranches will be delayed because we simply cannot get into prune. I think I will have a conversation with Murphy about that! In any case it’s not the end of the world.
So since January we have been pruning and sealing our pruning wounds so that fungus will not enter the vines and along with that, where we leave canes for extra crop we have been tying those to the trellis system. For me this takes most of January and February.
Just recently, (before the rains) we have begun to get ready for frost season. In some places such as the Carneros area where white varieties and some early reds are more conducive to the threat, frost season is already here. So it looks like next week may not be so wet and we will get back to our normal pruning and preparation for frost season.
Just in case you don’t know what preparation for frost entails, we need to prep and check our wind machines, prep and check our water pumps for sprinkler systems, and possibly, (not now because it’s too wet Mr. Murphy) mow our cover crop down so it will not halt the wind and hold the cold so the wind machines to do their jobs. So until next month wish us luck and rain when we asked for it.
Saviez Vineyard Management