Welcome to our new series “What’s Growing On”! In this blog post, we're excited to bring you the latest updates from our vineyard - from the growth of our grapevines to the meticulous care taken to produce our wines. Join us as Holly, our vineyard manager, takes our team out to the vineyard!
“Currently, the vines have completed bloom, which is when the vines have flowered and are going into fruit set. This means that after pollination, the fruit sets will become berries. At this stage, we need to start encouraging the vines to stop focusing their energy on vine growth and instead growing and maturing berries.
This year, due to the rain, we have a lot more canopy. In order to prevent mildew and sunburn, we need to make sure we have balanced vines. This can be accomplished by leafing or lateral removal. Hand or machine leafing, which you would typically do on the north side of the vine (or the morning side) allows the vines to get more gentle sunlight.This option creates a little “umbrella” for the grapes. Another option is lateral removal which is when you remove offshoots that don’t have any fruit on them. There are certain types of machinery that can complete physical lateral removal, but they are quite an investment. Both of these options will create dappled light and more airflow, which is ideal at this stage. Hedging is another option but it is crucial to ensure the plant changes direction of energy to the fruit. This can be determined by observing the tendrils. Once tendrils are inactive, they will begin receding and the shoot tip will disappear. We will probably use a hedging and leafing combination on our vineyards, especially the Malbec and Petit Sirah.
Due to the varying weather from the past few months, the clusters have hens and chicks which are essentially just large and small berries - aka they are lacking uniformity. This will result in a diminished weight per cluster but it seems like we will still have a balanced crop load. The vineyard has a way of naturally balancing itself out, which we find pretty miraculous. So all we have to do is manage the canopy by leafing, lateral removal, or hedging. Like mentioned before, this will increase the airflow and create dappled light. It’s all about balance!”
In conclusion, the recent vineyard updates at High Camp Wines have not only revitalized our winemaking process but also elevated the overall quality of our wines. By focusing on meticulous vineyard management, we are able to ensure that each grape harvest brings forward exceptional flavors and aromas! Cheers!