Sailing Into The Seas of Spring

Grenache, Mar 02, 2013I can’t believe it is already March. February came and went and I barely noticed it. My lack of attention was due in part to having a recurring respiratory infection (didn’t I have that same thing the first couple of months of 2005 or 2006?) and then the flu. But really, very little has actually happened.

The shot of the Grenache above shows that the crew has completed pruning the vineyard. That’s about it, so far as real work goes. Wines are still asleep. My healthy hours have been spent catching up on business financials, interviewing potential new hires, and selling wine at the shop when people are around. January and February have been pretty quiet, sales wise.

The weather has been very mild. Recently, daytime temperatures have warmed up out of the high-30s-low-60s range into the mid-70s but it has not been enough to push budbreak yet. It has also been extraordinarily dry. I recorded less rainfall in January and February 2013 than I have since we started keeping records at the vineyard in 1998. People paying attention are starting to talk about drought, but I think (hope) that worry is premature. Our November and December were relatively wet, so our season-to-date accumulation for the 2013 vintage is still ahead of 2001, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Grenache close-upEven with the warmer temperatures recently, there is very little bud push visible in the vineyard. In fact there is very little sap bleeding from pruning cuts yet—perhaps a function of the dry soil. I did find a little bit of sap in the cane-pruned Pinot, and the bare beginnings of bud swell: Sap on large pruing cut in PN 943There are a lot of trivial things going on in the industry that I will not be writing about, among them: the implosion of the Wine Advocate, balance in Pinot Noir, hipster wines (high acid, obscure varieties, orange, etc.) and the continued delusion in some circles that social media have changed everything and that Millennial wine drinkers are fundamentally different from older generations. *yawn*

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