Cook Vineyard Weekly Newsletter 7.25.11
Growing grapes is a lot like raising a child.
Like most parents, the more love, care and attention you give to your children the better they will succeed. Wine is not any different.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. In Sonoma’s wine community this is also true. Vineyard workers, viticulturist, winemakers, vineyard owners, wineries, wine drinkers and Mother Nature are all part of our big happy family.
Last Friday I drank an offspring, a 2010 Sonoma Carneros Chardonnay in the vineyard where it was born. Even though last year’s vintage was hampered by the cool summer and affected by the heat wave late in the season. The wine was phenomenal.
Every vintage has its challenges and 2011 has seen a few so far too. We had those hot days in February that got us all concerned about early budding, when in the end all those rainy days in March delayed our bud-break. (Bud-break is affected by soil temperature and wet soil is colder than dry soil and delays the bud-break)
April came and went with cool days and cooler nights (We had a lot of sleepless nights waiting for the frost alarms to go off (in which they did) and make us race out to the vineyards to turn on the fans and sprinklers.)
May was just like April and we all knew that the cool spring was pushing our harvest dates back. Our heat unit count was less than normal. (Heat Units are based on a calculation using the average daily temperature above 50.5 degrees farenheight.)
June was also unusual, it rained hard and we had a small heat spell. In the end we all ended up having some percent of shatter (Shatter is described best as a disturbance of the flowering process and is measured by the percentage of the damage.) We are expecting lower yields, but by what small percentage would depend on the location and variety of the vineyard.
Even though it will be difficult to catch up from our cool spring, July’s weather is cooperating by not putting us further behind. We are preparing for the 2011 harvest to come in a little later than normal.
For those in the family whose wine glasses are half full, it will be worth the wait!!
If anyone wants to visit us in the vineyards to learn more about the world of viticulture, Please call us at 707.490.8921. Also check our face book account Cook Vineyard Management under discussions for more information.
David Christopher Cook Cook Vineyard Management P.O. Box 1481 Sonoma, Ca. 95476 Cell 707.490.8921