Vineyard Diary (updated 4-21-07)

This is probably the most beautiful time of the year in the vineyard, with swaths of short green grass between rows alternating with the brown of the soil between rows, and the sight of pale green grape shoots not yet out of control.  Budburst was evident in the primitivo vineyard within days of the barbera vineyard, although the average primitivo plant remains a couple weeks behind the growth of the barbera.  As usual, far more barbera shoots blasted forth than seemed possible given the number of buds left by winter pruning, and so a round of shoot thinning has already been done to improve air flow and constrain yield.  The barbera vineyard was additionally limed by hand just in time to get partially washed in by a series of modest but welcome spring rains, with a little more rain on the way.   The port vineyard and a portion of the primitivo vineyard was graded and leveled to improve tractor access and safety.    All in all, the season is off to a great start.