Vineyard Diary (updated 5-22-07)

The spring rains trickled in as long as they could, but it appears that we’re now firmly in the grip of the summer weather pattern:  unrelenting sunshine.  That said, temperatures have remained seasonable and generally quite pleasant, making it a wonderful time to be out in the vineyard (okay, there really aren’t any bad times…).  The shoots have grown at their usual incredible rate, and flowering has recently occurred in the barbera and is ongoing in the primitivo.  Interestingly, we lost a large number of barbera shoots to the last rain of the season that, in the absence of wind that day, weighed on the large but still delicate shoots, breaking them off.  But most plants have recovered by sprouting additional shoots.  Suckering and shoot thinning is ongoing in the primitivo vineyard, as are regular sprayings for powdery mildew prevention.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that when the weather is perfect for us to be in the vineyard, it’s even better for powdery mildew.  So far, there have been no signs of this bane of grape growers.  We’ve just begun irrigating and hope that the water holds out after the relatively dry winter.