Anomaly Vineyards

A Berkeley, California transplant's view of becoming an Accidental Vintner.

You Don't Send Me Flowers, Anymore

Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond made the song famous, but the late Spring rains of the past two days here in the Napa Valley may make this harvest memorable as well. Many vineyards that were pruned in early Winter have begun the flowering process, the step which precedes the appearance of the grapes. If the flowering process has been interrupted, pollination may not take place, and the crop could be severely affected. This kind of "natural" interference is called 'Shatter' - as in "shatter our hopes." Shatter during bloom caused by rain and then heat, which is expected this weekend, can reduce yields by as much as 75% of normal. When shatter occurs, berries simply don't develop. Thankfully, our vineyards were pruned quite late in the season, and our vines have not yet begun to flower.

The fallout of these late rains (we received two inches in the past three days) will not be seen by many wineries until the grapes emerge this Summer. And again we ask ourselves as we lay awake at night worrying about the weather, "remind me who it was that said life in the vineyard is glamorous?!" Chantico.
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