Posts Tagged ‘Vineyard’


June 2014 Update

by admin ·

I added three sets of double-catch wires this year, along with cross-arms. I placed two-foot long cross-arms at the top of the T-Posts, with a pair of wires running across the top. This lets the canes spread wide, allowing more light into the canopy.
A foot below this set, is another set of steel wires, spread about 1 foot apart with a cross-arm. This wire will be used to hold the top of the side-nets. These two wires will be brought closer together when the nets are attached to pinch off the top opening around the canes.
About a foot above the cordon is the last set of wires, made of polyester. These are also set about a foot apart and make it easier to tuck canes between them than steel because of the built-in stretch. They’re also cheaper than steel and come on a smaller spool, so storage is easier. These wires will be left spread apart to hold the sides of the net out from the fruit to make it difficult for birds to peck through to get at the fruit.
One final wire is a few inches above the dripline, to wrap the bottom edge of the net around. This makes it easy to close the net, without interference from the emitters that would occur if I tried to just wrap the net around the drip line wire.
I like the side netting because the openings are smaller than the over-the-top net, and it’s easier to put on and take down.


Barbera: Post MLF Update

by admin ·

Malo-lactic fermentation has completed, and I decided to do some testing.
The pH is still high, about 4.1, and the TA measures .52% (5g/l), expressed as tartaric. The TA isn’t bad, but the wine tastes very tart at this point.
I think I need to do a cold stabilization (CS) to drop the k-bitartrate, but I’m not sure how much to add to get the final acidity right.
Some folks have recommended that I just add enough tartaric to drop the pH below 3.6, then do the CS and see what TA and pH I end up with.
I plan to cool a sample of the Barbera to 28F and see how much acid drops out of solution. I can then add tartaric back in to see how much is required to get the TA and pH back in an acceptable range.
This will give me an idea how much tartaric to add to the rest of the batch prior to cold-stabilization so that I end up with the right range. I’ll probably test this out on a second sample before I try it on the whole batch. Things don’t always work according to plan. :-)




by admin ·

I just noticed the first signs of purple are showing on a few clusters. This means the birds will soon take notice and will start having a picnick. Well, we can’t have that, so tomorrow we put on the bird netting that I bought last year (on special).
I will try to take some photos of the process.


Year 3 in the Vineyard

by admin ·

The vines are looking good this year and I can see lots of little clusters. I have one vine that’s showing red leaves, which may be due to a phosphorous deficiency.


Winter in the vineyard

by admin ·

Winter is here in the desert. This means the vines have finally gone dormant and I can rest a bit.
Actually, it means I can get out there and put up the cross-arms and an extra set of catch-wires for next season.
I’ll also add some compost and get the soil ready. Then, I can take a break. In another month or so, I’ll prune and spray some fungicide.
Next year will be the third “leaf” for this vineyard, which means I’ll get a half crop. That’s all I want to burden the vines with this year. The fourth year is when I can let a full crop develop.
What this means in terms of work for me is that I’ll go ahead and let two buds grow from each spur, but I’ll only let one of those produce fruit. This means extra work to go through the vineyard and drop clusters off of half of the shoots, but it also means extra shoots to control some of the vigor and produce a nice thick canopy to help prevent sunburn.
A friend, Chano Aguayo, in California, suggested training the vines to leave lots of shade on the afternoon side, but let the sun in on the morning side. What this means in terms of pruning is that I’ll have to hedge close on the morning side, but let the canes hang over on the afternoon side.


Chano’s Canopy Notes

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I uploaded these for a friend, Chano Aguayo. He runs a vineyard in Sonoma and wanted to share some photo’s with the folks on Winepress.Us and other amateurs. These are photo’s showing different views to help clarify the canopy requirements for shade, dappled light and airflow.
I included Chano’s comments with each photo. Click on each photo to read Chano’s description.


2010 Vineyard Photos

by admin ·

This is the second year for the vineyard. I’m very pleased with the way things have turned out so far. The few clusters I harvested have given me an idea on how much I can expect per vine (11-12 lbs) and what kind of acid and sugar levels I might get (24 Brix, 3.7pH, .8TA). This is very good for the low desert. I think Barbera was a good choice in my case.

Here are some photo’s of the vineyard this year. I wish I was a better photographer, but these will have to do :-):