Vineyard Diary 2-16-13

We are pleased to post our pricing and availability of wine grapes for the 2013 growing season. Our grapes always ripen during the September to October time frame, with the exact timing a function of the weather, the varietals, and even the field. Our minimum order remains 250 lbs per varietal.

For the first time, we are selling our Portugese varietal grapes, including those in our Quinta field, on a conventional per pound basis, with no prior restricted period where we will only sell the Quinta grapes as the full field. It remains a goal of ours to interest a commercial winery to buy our entire Quinta field and make a world-class port-style wine from the grapes, and we’d be able to offer two additional varieties that we grow in small quantities as part of the Quinta field, souzao and tinta amarela, for such a project. However, it has proven too much of a chore to market the grapes in this way, so we are going to keep it simple this year. Moreover, this will give home winemakers the opportunity to reserve the smaller quantities that they generally need.

No two seasons are exactly alike, but this winter seems to be following a pattern we’ve seen before of a wet December followed by a dry January. We saw occasional, seasonable precipitation in October and November, but this was followed by abundant December rains and cool temperatures. Then we entered a generally cool but very dry January-mid February period, with just a couple minor rain events. We’re starting to see some warming and the first few signs of spring, and we’ve completed over half of the winter pruning required to get grapevines in shape for the coming season. It’s a big job, but one that, unlike most vineyard operations, can happen anytime over a several month period, rather than in a narrow time window (like harvest). We’ll post a picture of our recently pruned barbera field on this blog.

A couple of weeks ago, we were honored to received some samples of wines made with our grapes by a home winemaker client, and while all were good, one (a 2011 touriga made from our Quinta fruit) was, in our opinion, off the charts. Nothing pleases us more than seeing excellent wines made with our grapes, and we look forward to seeing this and other wines as entrants in this year’s wine competitions.

We’re looking forward to another great season in 2013, whatever the weather may bring.