2019 West Coast Weather Thread

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Merrill Lindquist
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#201 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 31st, 2019, 5:18 pm

I just walked out to the vineyard and you can smell the bloom as you approach it. So sweet. With a high today of 86, and a forecast of a warmer Saturday and even warmer Sunday, this should go rather quickly. Please.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#202 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 31st, 2019, 6:22 pm

Today I saw my first negative impact of the wet spring: some shoot botrytis in some Pinot. I saw a touch in there a while back and luckily it's starting to grow out of it. Happy to say there's no damage to any of the clusters. My guess is in another 10 days only a very experienced eye will be able to spot it. Will try to get a shot of it up soon for educational purposes.

I also reached an agreement on over 35 plus tons of Pinot. Time for a cocktail!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#203 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 2nd, 2019, 2:02 pm

A nice walk through the vineyard just showed what every grape farmer would wish for: pretty uniform bloom in all areas of the vineyard, resulting from little wind, no precipitation, hot sun, cool nights. Perfect for a great set! Within the week, fruit set should be what we are looking at. The weather forecast looks gorgeous!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#204 Post by P Intag » June 3rd, 2019, 1:02 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 8:35 am
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 6:02 am
Stewart Johnson wrote:
May 19th, 2019, 7:35 pm
Whether you're flowering or not, this weather is probably having an adverse on next year's fruitfulness. Supply could tighten up beyond this year.
Can you share a little more information about this?
Next year's crop is being formed inside the canes of this year's growth. The spring and early summer weather is important for next year. The amount of sun and warmth on the vines happening now matters to next crop.
If I remember correctly, the 2011 vintage in Cali was marked with generous spring rains into June. The 2012 vintage was not adversely affected as far as I know. Care to shed some light on why this theory did not hold for 2011 - 2012?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#205 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 4th, 2019, 5:53 am

Someone smarter than me will have to answer. It's called primordial bud development. I'm told that scientists can dissect buds from vines before budbreak and do cluster counts. As for the 2011-2012 thing....sometimes theories are proven wrong. Hey when t he weather is a crazy as it was a few weeks ago, a farmer has to worry about SOMETHING!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#206 Post by Carole Meredith » June 4th, 2019, 4:24 pm

Casey asked me to post this photo of grape flowers that I labeled to help folks understand what's going on. (I posted it a couple of days ago on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so you may have seen it there.)

Flowering.JPG
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#207 Post by Stewart Johnson » June 4th, 2019, 10:14 pm

I was spraying today and thinking that, despite bloom still ongoing in the pinot and chard, I wasn't smelling much. Then I motored into the viognier and got whalloped by wall of fecund, flowery aromas. Viognier can't help being aromatically forward at every stage of development.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#208 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 5th, 2019, 6:00 am

Thanks for posting that pic Carole! We talk so much about bloom it's great for folks to get an idea of what's happening. Please don't be a stranger. Would love to get updates from your spot on Mt. Veeder.

With a couple cool days coming we're going to sulfur dust our high mildew pressure Chard blocks tonight. I want to get some material out there and I've always been told dusting during bloom was the safest (as long as it's not real hot). I'm also meeting a PCA this morning to talk spray strategy.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#209 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 5th, 2019, 12:24 pm

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Young Chard getting it done! Other Pinot blocks still just getting going.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#210 Post by Roy Piper » June 7th, 2019, 11:41 pm

Gonna hit 100-109F in the valley on Monday, and probably 90-100F Sunday and Tuesday.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#211 Post by Alan Rath » June 8th, 2019, 10:35 pm

What does a major heat spike like this do to flowering vines?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#212 Post by David Wright » June 8th, 2019, 10:50 pm

Carole Meredith wrote:
June 4th, 2019, 4:24 pm
Casey asked me to post this photo of grape flowers that I labeled to help folks understand what's going on. (I posted it a couple of days ago on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so you may have seen it there.)

Flowering.JPG
Nice, clear diagram. Can't help but wonder -- who are the pollinators of these modest flowers?.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#213 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 9th, 2019, 9:54 am

Alan Rath wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 10:35 pm
What does a major heat spike like this do to flowering vines?
Just pushes them along, to my knowledge. My fruit is set, and the guys are out there, now, suckering. It's a large crop at this point, but there are 90 days or so to harvest, and a lot can happen in the meantime.

My cover crop came in again - I have mustard waist high! Those late, heavy rains inspired them.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#214 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 10th, 2019, 12:25 pm

97 degrees at noon in St. Helena/Calistoga.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#215 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 11th, 2019, 2:20 pm

IMG_20190610_101959037_HDR.jpg
Clone 17 Chard certainly past BB sized berries.

I cruised around many fields the last couple of days and we're coming out of full bloom quickly. Not many berries falling off yet. Getting ready for a post bloom spray.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#216 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 14th, 2019, 8:35 am

Well the weather certainly has improved - you can actually go outside! The guys came back in the cooler weather to finish suckering, and my neighbor stopped by to ask if I would like him to disk and drag through my vineyard. A resounding yes!

The fruit is fully set, and now with the on-productive shoots removed, I can get out there and see what kind of tonnage we might be looking at.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#217 Post by Stewart Johnson » June 14th, 2019, 6:58 pm

I damn neared rolled into the biggest swarm of bees with the sprayer today that I've ever seen in the vineyard. About 4 foot by 1.5 foot solid mass of parked honeybees with a 15 foot diameter cloud of the airborne contingent. Not the most aggressive types, but I still think it might have pissed them off to get hit with the airblast sprayer and oil. I normally have my eyes on the base of the vines as I work an herbicide spot sprayer on suckers while I'm spraying fungicide on the canopy. I just happened to look up as I was about to enter the cloud. I'm sure they were pretty loud, but so is the sprayer, and I think I would have felt them before I heard them. I took a pic, but it didn't come out very well, and I haven't quite figured out how to post them here. Anyway, after backing up 600 feet out of the row, I gave them a pretty wide berth, and by the time I'd finished the rest of the vineyard they had moved on. The vine they had swarmed looked pretty trampled afterward, but no real harm done.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#218 Post by Stewart Johnson » June 14th, 2019, 7:01 pm

P Intag wrote:
June 3rd, 2019, 1:02 pm
Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 8:35 am
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 6:02 am
Can you share a little more information about this?
Next year's crop is being formed inside the canes of this year's growth. The spring and early summer weather is important for next year. The amount of sun and warmth on the vines happening now matters to next crop.
If I remember correctly, the 2011 vintage in Cali was marked with generous spring rains into June. The 2012 vintage was not adversely affected as far as I know. Care to shed some light on why this theory did not hold for 2011 - 2012?
I remember thinking the same thing. I put that question to a couple other growers after 2012 and I don't remember anyone having a good answer.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#219 Post by Stewart Johnson » June 14th, 2019, 7:02 pm

David Wright wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 10:50 pm
Carole Meredith wrote:
June 4th, 2019, 4:24 pm
Casey asked me to post this photo of grape flowers that I labeled to help folks understand what's going on. (I posted it a couple of days ago on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so you may have seen it there.)

Flowering.JPG
Nice, clear diagram. Can't help but wonder -- who are the pollinators of these modest flowers?.
Grapes are self-pollinators. No help needed beyond decent weather.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#220 Post by Stewart Johnson » June 14th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 10:35 pm
What does a major heat spike like this do to flowering vines?
I think a heat spike can be helpful at transitional stages like flowering and veraison in getting the vineyard synched up. Cool weather during set and veraison seems to involve more stragglers. I probably had some lagging viognier that wrapped up faster because of the heat, but it really hit the syrah perfectly. I don't think there was a single flower in the syrah 10 days ago, and set was a complete wrap by today. That's a tighter window than I'm used to.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#221 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 15th, 2019, 12:54 pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 7:12 pm
Alan Rath wrote:
June 8th, 2019, 10:35 pm
What does a major heat spike like this do to flowering vines?
I think a heat spike can be helpful at transitional stages like flowering and veraison in getting the vineyard synched up. Cool weather during set and veraison seems to involve more stragglers. I probably had some lagging viognier that wrapped up faster because of the heat, but it really hit the syrah perfectly. I don't think there was a single flower in the syrah 10 days ago, and set was a complete wrap by today. That's a tighter window than I'm used to.
Heat "spikes" can leave sunburn on your fruit, depending on what stage your fruit is. It is a major worry here in the hot lands, turning beautiful berries to mush or raisin.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#222 Post by Paul Gordon » June 16th, 2019, 10:21 pm

Our Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache in full bloom. Syrah just starting. After a slow start we are pulling ahead of the last two years.
Looking at the temp chart I am struck by by the similarity between this spring (Apr/May/Jun) and 2015. The big difference was 2015 had a much warmer start/earlier budbreak.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#223 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 17th, 2019, 10:14 am

IMG_20190617_083903518_HDR.jpg
Even after 40 years of doing this I'm still shocked how fast things go from bloom to berry sizing.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#224 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 17th, 2019, 10:20 am

IMG_20190617_084944687_HDR.jpg
777 Pinot moving along as well. No real signs of shatter yet. Maybe a few fields have slightly lower cluster counts, but for the most part things look great.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#225 Post by Evan Pontoriero » June 18th, 2019, 9:59 pm

That hot spell was brill for the vines in the PGap. They finished bloom and set and rocketed off up the wires. Seemed like they grew 2 feet in 3 days. Looking really nice. Now I can get that post bloom spray in before heading off for a couple weeks. Seeing lots of 3 cluster shoots, at this point I am thinking heavy like 14.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#226 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 19th, 2019, 8:27 pm

Having a hard time finding things to bitch about (I know hard to believe). Both crews are hustling to get the second set of wires lifted and a final suckering. That rolls off the lips but takes hundreds of man/women hours. We will need to do some hedging and canopy work with all of this extra growth out there. Hosting a wedding this weekend and plenty of effort towards that lately. Looking to bug out before harvest and see friends and do a bit of fishing in Wyoming. Need to set up spray crew properly so that we're covered.
Oh I'm calling the crop 'better than average' but not heavy at this point.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#227 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 21st, 2019, 1:25 pm

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Good example of hen & chicks
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#228 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 21st, 2019, 1:27 pm

IMG_20190621_131121641_HDR.jpg
Good example of shatter. Luckily just a bit in the Gruner.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#229 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 25th, 2019, 8:41 am

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New project to spice up my summer. Replant job irrigation system. Both drip and frost. Thank goodness for my experienced crew.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#230 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 25th, 2019, 5:37 pm

How's the new pup doing, Casey?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#231 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 25th, 2019, 5:38 pm

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After a bumpy start and not wanting to glue pipe at temps under 50 degrees, we made some headway. Air vent and drip mainline installed and about half the sprinkler laterals trenched. Also got all the sprinkler pipes laid out in the rows. Tomorrow we should be able to build on today's momentum.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#232 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 25th, 2019, 5:43 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 5:37 pm
How's the new pup doing, Casey?
IMG_20190602_181127009.jpg
10 pounds of crazy cute. Learning quickly and so much fun. I don't take her to work everyday so that she bonds with both Lynne and I. Typical terrier attitude and smarts.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#233 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 25th, 2019, 5:45 pm

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One more
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#234 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 25th, 2019, 5:56 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 5:43 pm
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 5:37 pm
How's the new pup doing, Casey?
IMG_20190602_181127009.jpg
10 pounds of crazy cute. Learning quickly and so much fun. I don't take her to work everyday so that she bonds with both Lynne and I. Typical terrier attitude and smarts.
That IS crazy cute. Glad she is doing well.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#235 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 26th, 2019, 6:12 pm

IMG_20190626_100731049_HDR.jpg
Kinda think we won't be watering these vines anytime soon! Seriously I walked a few fields with one of my clients today. The crop is looking better overall, but I'm finding a bit of random shatter in Pinot and Chard. Not gonna be a short crop at all.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#236 Post by Merrill Lindquist » June 28th, 2019, 6:10 am

I have been working a few rows at a time, checking out cluster and berry size, cutting back canopy/shoots that are too long, removing dried canes that were cut during suckering but got hung up in the canopy that remains.

Generally, at this point, I would say the cluster count is large, the cluster size average to small, and the berries small. Hard to make any predictions on yields, given that scenario. But the vineyard looks healthy and happy, which is not unusual for June.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#237 Post by Stewart Johnson » June 29th, 2019, 6:26 pm

I'd say my set was pretty crappy, and the crop is going to be lighter than average.
On the other hand, I have a real bumper crop of Morning Glory. That stuff really seemed to enjoy the Spring rains.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#238 Post by Casey Hartlip » June 29th, 2019, 8:17 pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 6:26 pm
I'd say my set was pretty crappy, and the crop is going to be lighter than average.
On the other hand, I have a real bumper crop of Morning Glory. That stuff really seemed to enjoy the Spring rains.
Ouch!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#239 Post by Paul Gordon » July 1st, 2019, 7:27 pm

Just finished flowering at Halcon. That is a little ahead of last year and exactly the same timing as 2017.
Cluster counts look a little lower than recent years, likely caused by last year's persistently cold May. Just a little shatter on the Grenache but actual welcome as it means we do not need to drop fruit.
June finished 2-3 degrees above average on the high temps (low temps about average). Our average hi/lo was 76F/53F compared to a Cote Rotie historical average of 73F/57F. It was certainly hot in Ampuis this June - 82F/60F.
July is starting very mild with moderate temps predicted for the next 10 days.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#240 Post by Merrill Lindquist » July 6th, 2019, 7:34 am

We have fully formed clusters at this point. We did another spray early yesterday morning. Saw some of the shoots tapering off, so gave my friends a big drink. Right now things look exceptional. Long way to go, though.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#241 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 7th, 2019, 5:54 am

Back home after a 9 day road trip to Wyoming. Anxious to poke my head in some vines and inspect for mildew. I texted my main guy yesterday while zooming through Nevada to go out and check our usual hot spots. He claims that we're clean but I'll be the final judge tomorrow.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#242 Post by Merrill Lindquist » July 7th, 2019, 9:28 am

For the curious: the last spray consisted of Prolivo, a newish protectant of powdery mildew. Apparently knocks back any existing mildew on contact and protects going forward. Also used Sylcoat, which is some kind of organic pesticide used on fruits (grapes). Clark Vineyard Management does a great job of staying on top of the best solutions to protect vineyards. I leave it to them to do what is best for my ranch, and so far we have had great success. Josh Clark is a graduate of Cal Poly, and keeps up with the leading edge products while listening and watching over my vineyard.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#243 Post by Stewart Johnson » July 7th, 2019, 10:30 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
July 7th, 2019, 9:28 am
For the curious: the last spray consisted of Prolivo, a newish protectant of powdery mildew. Apparently knocks back any existing mildew on contact and protects going forward. Also used Sylcoat, which is some kind of organic pesticide used on fruits (grapes). Clark Vineyard Management does a great job of staying on top of the best solutions to protect vineyards. I leave it to them to do what is best for my ranch, and so far we have had great success. Josh Clark is a graduate of Cal Poly, and keeps up with the leading edge products while listening and watching over my vineyard.
I wasn't familiar with Prolivo and tried to look it up. The label only mentions preventative efficacy, but that's usually the case. It's worth having something with erradicant efficacy in reserve, if it comes to that. Pristine is that for me, but I'd like to have an alternative. Pristine is harder chemistry than I'd really like, but it's effective against both mildew and any botrytis lurking in dead flower parts that are about to embed in closing clusters.
The UC Davis Fungicide Trials used to have usable results for getting a handle on this sort of thing, but they seem to get more useless by the year. They include Prolivo in the 2018 trials, but it's combined with other elements of a spray program, and it's not easy to interpret the results.
Syl Coat is a spreader/wetter -- an adjuvant that increases the efficacy of Prolivo or other fungicide, but doesn't have anti-fungal or insecticidal properties of its own.
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Merrill Lindquist
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#244 Post by Merrill Lindquist » July 8th, 2019, 4:58 am

Thanks for the clarification on the Syl Coat. This is the first year in many that I have not had leaf-hoppers - I was thinking perhaps this product is aiding in eradicating them. From the info online, it mentions pesticides, but it is unclear about the connection. At any rate, I am fortunate to have Josh Clark to stay on top of what my vineyard needs and when.

I have been busy trimming back the shoots and snipping off any fruit that I already know I don't want in the mix.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#245 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 8th, 2019, 3:23 pm

Back from a 9 day road trip to Wyoming. My blood pressure was high as I dug into several big canopy Chard vines in our historic mildew hot spots..... NOTHING! Couldn't find a single berry. Can't drop the ball now!

Most all varieties are at cluster close with rock hard bunches. Crop is a mixed bag, but nothing is light on crop. Crew has fallen behind on wire movement which is common this time of year.

Usually by now we would have irrigated some fields 2-3 times by now. I'm wondering when if at all we will water anything, it's just that crazy. Funny what getting 5" of rain right before bloom will do.

Need to sit down with my lead guys and do some crop estimating.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#246 Post by Andrew Demaree » July 9th, 2019, 7:04 pm

With regard to rain, how far above a normal year are you, year-to-date, in your respective areas?

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#247 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 9th, 2019, 8:58 pm

Andrew Demaree wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 7:04 pm
With regard to rain, how far above a normal year are you, year-to-date, in your respective areas?
Normal in our area is about 32" and this year we're about 45.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#248 Post by Paul Gordon » July 11th, 2019, 1:37 pm

It has been the coolest early summer I can remember. The last time our vineyard broke 80F was June 22! Average high since then is 70F. The next 10 days is forecast is a little warmer but with highs still below 80F.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#249 Post by Casey Hartlip » July 14th, 2019, 6:55 pm

Back to the grind tomorrow for what appears to be the final push to harvest. Time to look at crop levels and thinning programs. Also looking at what I hope is the final mildew prevention spray.

Still have some unsold fruit that might get custom crushed, we'll see.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#250 Post by Merrill Lindquist » July 15th, 2019, 12:09 pm

Beautiful growing weather over a long weekend (for me): 50s at night into morning, with a slow climb toward 90. Rarely without a good breeze.

Saw my first colored berry this morning on exactly the same vine as last year. Last year was on July 18. We have some 45-60 days of exciting changes coming up out there. Love it.
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