The vineyard is doing great. No problems so far, knock on wood.
Last week the vineyard was sprayed as prevention against mildew, and this weekend we drove the tractor mower to keep the weeds under control. Some very early grape varietals in California already reported start of veraison, but for us there are still be a couple of weeks to go before the grapes will change color.
With Summer in full swing, the soil is noticably getting dryer, so we need to step up the irrigation.
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
The vineyard looks healthy and is at the stage called "fruit set". Grape berries have developed and we see well filled clusters. The berries are now hard to the touch, and still contain high levels of acidity.
Further in the growing cycle, the grapes will change color to dark purple, Veraison, and will develop high sugar levels while the acidity decreases. Last year, we had Veraison in the 3rd week of July. This year it looks like we are a bit ahead.
We are now using soil moisture measurements at different locations in the vineyard to manage the irrigation.
We are blessed not have any issues with mildew this year, unlike other growers in the valley, and this picture -taken this morning- shows why.
Coastal fogs enter the Temecula valley from the ocean, but because of our altitude (1800 ft) this moist air does not reach the vineyard. Pressure from fungus like white powdery mildew has been relatively low.
As a result, there was no need to spray with sulfur this year.
Here is a graph showing this year's development of Winkler Scale growing degree days. The Winkler scale, developed by the university of Davis, is a method to quantify heat available for vine development during the growing season. Compared to last year, we are a little ahead. We expect to end up with 3,001–3,500 degree days, similar to the Rhône region in France.