• 7 Apr 2015

    The Harvest

    Harvest truly is a magical time. It’s the culmination of a year in the vineyard. The world recedes to the end of a long tunnel, as all daily obligations are temporarily relieved, allowing pure, crystalline focus on the task at hand. This is true in all forms of agriculture, but particularly so in wine. For us, harvest is both the completion of our farming year and the beginning of our winemaking cycle, and it provides...
    • 21 Apr 2014

    Disease Management: The Big Three

    Like death and taxes, battling diseases of grapevines can’t be avoided. Managing grapevine diseases is an integral part of tending vineyards; the challenge is due to one simple, modern predicament: many of the diseases are from the New World, and Vitis vinifera is from the Old World, so it didn’t evolve any natural resistance to them. European grapevines and grapevines of European origin have to contend with North American...
    • 20 Mar 2013

    Yield and Wine Quality

    What’s the deal with yields? Or terms like “crop load,” or “vine balance?” What does it mean to ”green harvest” or to “restrict yields?” Why would one do that? Is 30 hectoliters per hectare always better than 60 hectoliters per hectare, or two tons per acre better than four tons per acre? How is wine character actually changed by adjusting to different crop levels? These terms get thrown around, but what do they really...
    • 20 Jul 2012

    Spring and Early Summer Canopy Management: Winemaking in the Vineyards

    Spring and early summer in the vineyards is when the wine is truly made. Springtime for a viticulturist is like fighting a war, or like surfing a huge wave, depending on whether you’re a man-against-nature type or you tend to eat mushrooms and marvel at its magnificence. Either way there is no question that it is the most intense time in the vineyards. Mother Nature deals her hand in the spring, and how the cards are...
    • 1 Mar 2012

    Winter Pruning: The Devil is in the Details

    The devil is in the details. Viticulture, even more than winemaking, is an apprenticeship-based practice. The complexities are only hinted at in the handful of books on the subject. The science spans many different disciplines, and since the subject is as varied and inscrutable as Mother Nature herself, there is no sign any time soon of us truly understanding any of the myriad aspects of viticulture, which range from...