Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Early Season in the Vineyard

The Bookcliff vineyards escaped winter damage yet again in 2009. Every spring, Colorado grape farmers cross their fingers, and hope that the vines did not suffer during the sometimes cold, sometimes dry winters. Despite a few vines succumbing to the cold we came out on top, and are looking forward to an ideal growing season. So far we've had early hot weather, good for early shoot growth, followed by abnormal cool weather, good for slowing down excessive growth during the plants flowering stage. We've passed the flowering stage and just this week can see the berries that will eventually be ripened, and processed into wine. We are now entering the pre-bunch closure stage, the berries will expand, and the cluster will tighten, until Verasion in August when they stop growing and develop their flavor and color. In the meantime, we are mowing, irrigating, and keeping mildew out of the vineyard. We are also continuing our compost treatment. In our third year, we are building our soils with local materials, composted during the winter, and in the spring spread in vineyard areas with nutrient deficiencies. This is a longer and slower process than traditional chemical fertilizers, but will have a long term benefit on the health of the vineyard soils and the quality of the wine. We look forward to a beautiful summer in the valley.

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