2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

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Casey Hartlip
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

Post #201  Postby Casey Hartlip » May 1st 2017, 5:01pm

Hey Joe, how about flower counts?
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Post #202  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 3rd 2017, 2:03pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:Hey Joe, how about flower counts?
I was talking with my neighbor, Jim Frediani, and when I called them "flower formation counts," he said "do you mean bunch counts?" I said folks were talking about flowers, and I was sternly corrected that it was "bunch counts." Flower counts are only made during "flowering" or "bloom." Jesus. We are all talking about the same thing. Call it anything you want. It's those parts of the vine that eventually yield fruit. Comprende?
That aside, the Fredianis are as nice a family as you could ever inherit for neighbors.

I looked at a few vines on my (weaker) eastern side, and I saw lots of single...um...bunches on many shoots. I did not investigate further into the stronger sections of the vineyard because honestly, I have work to do concerning things I can impact. I cannot do anything about these numbers of emerging grape clusters. And since I only bottle/sell what I grow, that is the end of this discussion. Almost....

The cover crop has been turned under, disked, and ring/rolled, and the vineyard looks beautiful. I just took a break and walked out to measure shoots, and many of them are 24" long. Saw many 2s and some 3s. Too hot at over 90 degrees, but in Boston in was 90 degrees one day and HUMID. I hate that.
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Post #203  Postby Casey Hartlip » May 4th 2017, 6:23am

Things drying up and vines growing out quickly. We still have a handful of rows too wet to drive in, but not many now. The crew is jumping from field to field suckering like mad. We finally have some sulfur out there. Tractor drivers are going hard. As long as there are no breakdowns we could start to feel pretty good in 7-10 days from now. Pretty much considering frost season is over....but frost alarms are still on!
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Post #204  Postby D@vid Bu3ker » May 5th 2017, 6:48pm

Glad things are starting to shape up for you. We had a nasty frost event Thursday AM that laid more than a few fruit orchards low. Third year in a row with a bad frost event. More unusual cold coming next week.
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Post #205  Postby Joe Webb » May 6th 2017, 11:17am

Casey Hartlip wrote:Hey Joe, how about flower counts?


They look a bit above average. Mostly 2 clusters per shoot on PN but there quite a few 3's (mostly Pommard 05 and 115) and really no 1 cluster shoots. The next door neighbor vineyard was thinning weak shoots last week, there a bit ahead of us, but we won't do any thinning until after bloom is complete. I certainly hope were done with frost season but we have had some pretty cold nights in the last week. Last weekend during the Boonville Beer Festival it was upper 30's for 2 night, the festival goers were cold.

Big change from just a few days ago from mid 80's last Wed to barely 50 yesterday. 39.9 last night. There could be some interesting weather about 10 days out. I won't be putting in the tomatoes until mothers day or the following week per usual for us. I have been working on some transplanting projects one with some Indian Peaches we have at the tasting room and some black walnuts. The full tree we have and the neighbors got frost burnt at some point, black dead left tips.
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Post #206  Postby Casey Hartlip » May 8th 2017, 7:49pm

Walked almost all of my blocks today. Gruner popping out of the tubes. Another sulfur spray go-round starts tonight. We haven't turned any soil yet. Still mowing and weed spraying like mad. SO glad we're not planting anything on a year like this.

Trying to prioritize my people to be where they can make the most impact. Just about every field needs something done now, the key is to make the right move. Luckily no mechanical breakdowns to date. My folks are in the field at 6:30 am working 9 hour days.

Just when we get a few days of nice weather, there's a cool spell forecast. Will it stay crazy all season? Kind of feels like it.
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Post #207  Postby Joe Webb » May 10th 2017, 11:13am

More mowing and suckering the last couple days. Cooler than average weather is welcome to get caught up and to keep bloom as late as possible. We have started barrel sampling and will begin trial blends on PN later this week.
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Post #208  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 10th 2017, 7:15pm

A cool and grey day, but not raw and no precipitation.

Applying fungicide in the morning, then will do some suckering.

Vineyard looks excellent - even my 5 year struggling replants/grafts are showing promise this year. Vines planted here, I believe, want the traditional rainy season. We had one (well, maybe a bit more than one) this year, but have not for several years. The difference is evident in the growth.
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Post #209  Postby Joe Webb » May 10th 2017, 7:40pm

Merrill, what was the re-entry interval on that fungicide? Same day seems crazy fast.

Stay safe dont expose yourself to chemicals. We double the recommended intervals on everything organic or otherwise.
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Post #210  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 10th 2017, 8:44pm

Joe - it's a 24 hour re-entry, of course. These guys are pros - everything defined and scheduled, and the vineyard will be posted. When I said suckering would be next, I did not mean in the next day. I meant that is what is on the agenda...upcoming.

I know what I am doing, and I hire people who know what they're doing.
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Post #211  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 13th 2017, 6:48pm

Angels appeared in my vineyard - unannounced - early this morning. A gift disk and drag from my wonderful friend and neighbor, Jim Frediani. I had wondered what the noise was out there, got up to check, and what a wonderful way to wake up.

There was a minor frost event early this morning - I only heard a lone wind machine in the area. Maybe 6:00 a.m.?

I did a bit of suckering today - and there is plenty to do - probably I will call in the guys. Growth everywhere, thanks to those long, long days of winter rain.
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Post #212  Postby Casey Hartlip » May 14th 2017, 11:42am

Mow, sucker, spray. Rinse, repeat.

Two tractors going 10 hours a day. Each has a mower and spray rig calibrated especially to it. Only one disk but for now that's fine. Many men and women disbudding as quickly as possible. Raising wires is blended in there now as shoots get longer and we experience some wind damage. It never ends. Tending vines from vines aged one to forty four.
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Post #213  Postby Evan Pontoriero » May 14th 2017, 12:40pm

Cassandra here again [swearing.gif]

No problems yet in the gap as bloom is nearly upon us. Russian River is another story. Bloom started on Chard and Pinot last week and the winds and cool temps have been outrageous. Many nervous growers saying, oh well Mother Nature rules, at least there are large cluster counts to compensate. Fingers crossed.
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Post #214  Postby Paul Gordon » May 15th 2017, 5:04pm

Really cooled down the last 5 days and at least two more sub-60F days predicted for our place. So far we have had 7 nights in May with lows in the 30s. It was 36F Saturday and Sunday mornings. Likely one more tonight.
Growth has stalled with shoots around 6in. The warmer weather later this week will be welcome.
I anticipate flowering the first week of June.
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Post #215  Postby Steve Edmunds » May 15th 2017, 7:32pm

oddly, that's about where things are in the Apple Hill area and also FairPlay. Reminding me of 2011 a bit.
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Post #216  Postby Paul Gordon » May 15th 2017, 7:50pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:oddly, that's about where things are in the Apple Hill area and also FairPlay. Reminding me of 2011 a bit.

Steve

We had been tracking 2012/13 fairly closely until the last 5 days stalled things. A bit of warmth later this week (highs around 70F) should get us back to that '12/'13 pace.
It does not feel as cold as 2011 for us. Which is good because we did not get thru set until mid-July that year!
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Post #217  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 16th 2017, 8:28am

I saw the tiniest fraying at the edges of the flower formations yesterday. I just measured the shoots, and there are many at 36 inches and more. Last year we had full bloom on May 16 - not seeing that! in 2014 bloom started on May 4. Not seeing that! In 2013 we had full bloom on May 14.

This is not acting like 2011 here. That year, we did not see bloom until the last week of May.
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Post #218  Postby William Segui » May 16th 2017, 12:37pm

I've seen full bloom in some CF, just a few end vines in Cabernet. If the weekend forecast holds, I suspect much of the Valley will be game on.
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Post #219  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 16th 2017, 4:41pm

William egui wrote:I've seen full bloom in some CF, just a few vines in Cabernet. If the weekend forecast holds, I suspect much of the Valley will be game on.
Will - shoot me an email and set up a time to have a look here.
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Post #220  Postby Karen Troisi » May 16th 2017, 5:47pm

Rutherford today
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Post #221  Postby Gary Schulte » May 17th 2017, 4:32am

Beautiful plants guys. I'm jealous. Our east coast vines are waking up with auxerrois, chardonnay, chenin blanc, and cab franc at 2-4 inch shoot lengths. The cabernet sauvignon leaves just unfurling and look to be 2 weeks behind everyone else. Cold rain has kept things back a bit except for the weeds. 80s for the next few days should help things move.
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Post #222  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 17th 2017, 7:54am

Karen - your Rutherford photo shows your slightly ahead of mine. But as you know, you can look out and in a moment it's all changed.
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Post #223  Postby Karen Troisi » May 17th 2017, 1:46pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:Karen - your Rutherford photo shows your slightly ahead of mine. But as you know, you can look out and in a moment it's all changed.


I suspect thngs will be moving along quickly over the next week with temps in the low 90's forecast. Just hoping the winds stay calm.
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Post #224  Postby Stewart Johnson » May 18th 2017, 6:49pm

I just started bloom at the top of the vineyard. That's about 10 days later than 2014 and 2016 and 18 days later than 2015. Nice to be back to "normal."
One thing that's not normal this year is the bumper crop of morning glory. It's showing up all over the vineyard, in places where it's never been a problem before. Anybody else seeing that?
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Post #225  Postby Evan Pontoriero » May 18th 2017, 9:09pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:I just started bloom at the top of the vineyard. That's about 10 days later than 2014 and 2016 and 18 days later than 2015. Nice to be back to "normal."
One thing that's not normal this year is the bumper crop of morning glory. It's showing up all over the vineyard, in places where it's never been a problem before. Anybody else seeing that?



Saw a little bit but WTH with the poison oak? It is everywhere. Way more than ever. ARRRRGGGHHH!!!!![swearing.gif]
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Post #226  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 19th 2017, 8:32am

Interesting mention of poison oak. I am highly sensitive to it, and yesterday afternoon saw the tell-tale sign on my wrist. I quickly started to hit it with Tecnu, an over the counter poison oak/ivy oil combatant. It really works well if you get to it early enough.
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Post #227  Postby M Hoose » May 20th 2017, 6:16am

Technu is real good but also consider Zanfel - we've had great success with firefighters exposed to oak and giving them Zanfel
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Post #228  Postby Merrill Lindquist » May 20th 2017, 5:15pm

Thanks, Michael. Apparently I was not quick enough...my original poison oak eruption on my wrist has worsened and spread elsewhere. Ugh. I am thinking by Monday I will have to go on prednisone. I have been down this road before.

In the vineyard, the heat is moving the flowering process along nicely. May it be short and sweet. Tons of growth out there. These vines, most of them planted in 1995, expected the kind of rainy winter they had this year (well, not THAT much), but certainly they did not expect to be water stressed year after year. Let's see what lies ahead for the 2017 vintage.
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