2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

Post #101  Postby R M Kriete » February 28th 2017, 1:28pm

You guys are making me get emotional....back to tractor talk!

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Post #102  Postby Merrill Lindquist » February 28th 2017, 5:20pm

Not much tractoring going on around here. Lots of pruning - was back and forth to Napa today, and the crews are out there.

For those familiar with the Napa area where the Silverado Trail meets Trancas, the famous strawberry stand is still standing in water. Any low lying areas are still heavy with water.

Some sweet pea is starting to show its pink out in my cover crop, but the bell beans have yet to flower. When those white flowers show throughout the vineyard, we will see if we can get the tractor in to mow and turn it under. One of the benefits of having a tiny vineyard is that you can mow and turn under in one day. Larger places need to mow, and sometime later, change over to disking. I don't know of any science that proves more nitrogen from the plants gets turned under if it is done quickly, but we all need something to guide us [cheers.gif] .
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Post #103  Postby Casey Hartlip » February 28th 2017, 7:36pm

My first full 8 hour day pruning in a while. Forgot my Advil today and I felt it. Cane pruning a young field at 3rd leaf when all cuts count in the future of these vines. I had my 4 best guys with me. Fun talking shit and working together. That 32 inch height just killed my shoulders. Don't know if I have 8 more harvests in me.
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Post #104  Postby Joe Webb » March 2nd 2017, 11:19am

Casey Hartlip wrote:My first full 8 hour day pruning in a while. Forgot my Advil today and I felt it. Cane pruning a young field at 3rd leaf when all cuts count in the future of these vines. I had my 4 best guys with me. Fun talking shit and working together. That 32 inch height just killed my shoulders. Don't know if I have 8 more harvests in me.


Solid work dude! I feel to tall to be in the vineyard for many things as well. I have often though about a planting with higher fruiting wire but it would only work better for us tall guys.

We are collecting all tree scraps into piles for composting and burning. Lots of wood on the ground from the last couple storms that had lots of wind in them. Ground has dried enough to get our smaller John Deer out and about with the forks to move the piles. A couple more inches in the forecast for the weekend into early next week. Will be a nice refresher of moisture and a continued delay of bud break.
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Post #105  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 2nd 2017, 6:12pm

Still hauling ass. Men pruning and ladies tying canes to the wire. The sun has felt good the last few days. I've actually had fun working with my guys and my back has gotten stronger with a bit of work.
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I saw this Chardonnay bud today and had a 5 second freak out until I inspected some other blocks of Pinot Gris and Gewurtz and found them tight.
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Post #106  Postby Merrill Lindquist » March 2nd 2017, 6:48pm

This is a freak-out time of year. Is it fuzzy, or is that just normal, non-budding? I talk to myself out there all the time. A few of the fresh pruning cuts are weeping.

Neighboring vineyards are tuning up their wind machines and overhead water systems (for frost protection). Could be some are lowering the height of their irrigation ponds in advance of some expected rain. Not sure.
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Post #107  Postby Joe Webb » March 2nd 2017, 7:12pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:Neighboring vineyards are tuning up their wind machines and overhead water systems (for frost protection). Could be some are lowering the height of their irrigation ponds in advance of some expected rain. Not sure.


The sprinklers are running to test the system and fix any issues with the rainbirds. Earwigs and tendrils foul many of them up from working right. It takes us about 4 hours with 2-3 people in rain gear to get our 15 acres ready for frost.
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Post #108  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 5th 2017, 7:42pm

Rain, hail and snow today at my house in Ukiah area. Back to the salt mine tomorrow. Gonna be a pretty chilly morning tomorrow, so I'm thinking some office work until about 10:00 when things warm up. Sorry to say the crew will be out there earlier than me.
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Post #109  Postby Merrill Lindquist » March 6th 2017, 10:18am

At my place we had hail, no snow. We had some strong winds, a lot of rain, and some sun. A strange day. But uniformly cold. The sun is just now peeking out around 9:00 a.m. I hope it lasts all day.

It used to be that the rainy season ended just in time for my daughter's birthday party, which was always on a weekend around March 14. That has not been the case for some years, now. Seems like the drought years brought us rain in a different pattern. I have notes from recent years that would have made wet birthday parties.
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Post #110  Postby Nolan E » March 6th 2017, 12:16pm

Upper section of the Penner Ash Estate Vineyard this morning.
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Post #111  Postby Karen Troisi » March 6th 2017, 4:17pm

Game on...

Caldwell Vineyard in Coombsville just posted a photo - they have bud break in Block 5 chardonnay.
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Post #112  Postby Merrill Lindquist » March 6th 2017, 6:12pm

Well, I thought I posted a little while ago, but I don't see it. The mysteries.

At any rate, all EMH Cab is still buttoned down tight.
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Post #113  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 7th 2017, 8:34am

Lots of frost systems being tested in our area. Luckily wet ground and cold temps have kept buds pretty tight for us. Still trying to get the pruning done, but I'm guessing 2 more weeks to go.
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Post #114  Postby Joe Webb » March 8th 2017, 2:48pm

Im calling today officially spring because I it was nice enough to eat lunch outside again on the patio at the tasting room. Took a walk yesterday thru the vineyard. The tops of the pre-pruned vines are moving a little on our earliest block of PN which is an acre of Pommard 05 on quad. Once we see more down lower well have the crew go out to final prune and with good weather we wont need to frost protect for 2 more weeks after that.
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Post #115  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 10th 2017, 6:13pm

I pruned in 3 different fields today cleaning up some odds and ends. 2013 planting of Pinot, 2006 667 pinot and 2015 clone 17 chard. Quite the contrast in vigor and age. I had my best 4 guys with me. We had a good cooperative session on the young vine chard as to what approach to take. I love to get my guys involved in the decision making process with young vines as it's such a critical point in a vines life.

Anyway, three Adivl down and my first G&T in hand. Happy Friday everyone.
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Post #116  Postby Joe Webb » March 13th 2017, 11:49am

Things are moving slowly even though the days have been sunn and beautiful. Doing some mowing around the property today. May do final pruning as early as Friday, no sap runinng yet, so may hold off until early next week.

This is a bud on our earliest block of pinot noir almost to the top of the cane.
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Post #117  Postby Merrill Lindquist » March 13th 2017, 4:53pm

What a string of awesomely warm and sunny days! Who doesn't like sun, no humidity, and temps in the mid-70s? Today it hit 85 briefly, but hovered around 80-82 for much of the afternoon.

Overnight it has still been cool. I ran the heat downstairs this morning to take the chill off, and have been running the air conditioning for a bit this afternoon.

My Thompson seedless table grapevine has a couple of buds that have popped a bit. Cabernet is still tight. Last year I had full budbreak on the Thompson on March 4, and full budbreak on the Cab on March 12. So we are running behind that, at least.
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Post #118  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 13th 2017, 5:25pm

Pumps running today and sprinklers flapping away. Luckily no major breaks or problems to report. Hope to finish the pruning before the weekend (kind of doubt that) and hope to get a tractor running early next week. 18 people working in the field now. Budbreak has not happened yet although more of this weather will change that soon.

Had my annual state housing inspection today. Lots of nitpicky BS things to fix over the next 30 days. I'm sure I'll find some time to do some farming in there somewhere.
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Post #119  Postby Steve Edmunds » March 13th 2017, 10:17pm

Farmers gotta farm! [basic-smile.gif]
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Post #120  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 14th 2017, 6:35pm

By the end of tomorrow we will be frost ready, and not a moment too soon. I'm not calling Chardonnay budbreak quite yet but we're close. Fair amount of broken sprinklers and needed to install 60 in the Gruner Veltliner block. Now back to the pruning please!
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Post #121  Postby Joe Webb » March 15th 2017, 12:06am

Overhead frost sprinklers tested. Only one split fitting needed repair, everything else went smothly. I have been working on the garden bed and green house that got damaged during the last big wind storm. We put up the tent gor a 10 year vertical event we have in a couple weekends, plus a wine clucb pickup party and AV pinot noir fest.
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Post #122  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 16th 2017, 5:49pm

We have budbreak in Chardonnay. Pics at eleven.

As promised.
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Post #123  Postby Joe Webb » March 17th 2017, 11:48am

The crew is out doing the final pruning today. We have some rain on and off for the next week which will keep things tight hopefully we wont need to first protect for the next 2 weeks.
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Post #124  Postby Theodora Lee » March 19th 2017, 9:08am

A beautiful day in the Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley!
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Post #125  Postby Joe Webb » March 19th 2017, 10:46am

Starting to see sap flowing.
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Post #126  Postby Merrill Lindquist » March 20th 2017, 5:31pm

Rain again. The top of Diamond Mountain is lost in fog, temperatures in the mid-50s, and we want Spring back.
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Post #127  Postby Nolan E » March 20th 2017, 9:25pm

One of our vineyard crew is estimating our budbreak to be April 20th. She halfway joked it could be May.
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Post #128  Postby Joe Webb » March 21st 2017, 10:37am

Earliest block starting to push. Well frost protect at this point and our first looks to be in a couple days.
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Post #129  Postby Merrill Lindquist » March 22nd 2017, 2:58pm

A bit chilly, a bit rainy, a bit sunny. All within hours of each other.

The cover crop is about up to my armpits (I'm around 5'5-1/2"), so it is high. The flowering of the bell beans has not come on full-force, so I'll leave that crop there for now (I've been told that the greatest return of nitrogen and other good stuff comes when the flowers are white and abundant). So next up will be to have the weeds hand-dug from between the vines, then the cover mowed under, and quickly turned into the soil.
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Post #130  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 22nd 2017, 5:38pm

We had heavy Texas-like showers this afternoon. Almost had hail in them. 30 minutes later the sun would pop out. Typical weather for March. Pruning almost done. Once tying is done its drop the catch wires and trellis repairs. Prolly going to lay the ladies off until suckering (disbudding) happens. Frost alarms are set. Tractors almost ready to mow. Where's my gin bottle?
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Post #131  Postby Merrill Lindquist » March 22nd 2017, 6:04pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:We had heavy Texas-like showers this afternoon. Almost had hail in them. 30 minutes later the sun would pop out. Typical weather for March. Pruning almost done. Once tying is done its drop the catch wires and trellis repairs. Prolly going to lay the ladies off until suckering (disbudding) happens. Frost alarms are set. Tractors almost ready to mow. Where's my gin bottle?
Your gin bottle is in the freezer, where it belongs. So does that mean you will take the buds off as they break? I mean the extraneous ones. We won't sucker until we have some lengthy shoots.

I have been curious about a vineyard down the street. Was owned by Sterling...now whichever parent group owns them. But no sign of pruning, irrigation tubing torn out, and so I am assuming they are going to tear out the vines?
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Post #132  Postby Nolan E » March 22nd 2017, 6:51pm

Merrill, it's going to made into a "natural wine"
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Post #133  Postby Casey Hartlip » March 24th 2017, 7:11am

I had a tasting with Jim Klein of Navarro Vineyards yesterday. We tasted Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurtz all from our vineyard. We'll taste Chard and Pinot noir in a couple of months.

The aromatic whites are all fermented in oak ovals that have chilling plates inside them. Although I've known this for many years I'd never really seen them before. Impressive.
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Post #134  Postby Merrill Lindquist » March 24th 2017, 10:39am

That IS impressive looking.

We are having a pretty steady rain - at least it kept the temperatures for going near freezing overnight. But enough of the rain, already.
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