Cook Vineyard Weekly Newsletter 8.22.11
Summer is two-thirds over. Harvest is a little over a month away and the vines have turned most of their energy towards ripening their fruit.
This leads us to a question that is asked a lot. “Why do the vines look different this time of year?”
World-class fruit comes from vineyards that are stressed during their ripening stage. They start to look a little weathered, their once lushes green leaves turn light green. They start losing their basal leaves (Basal leaves are located around the fruit zone). These leaves turn yellow and fall off. (Sometimes they are removed by hand earlier.) This is a natural occurrence to allow more air flow and sunlight around the grape clusters. To the untrained eye one may think the vineyard needs more water or is unhealthy, but this is not the case.
This time of year we regulate the irrigation in the vineyard based on the soil type and weather. Lately due to the cool summer, the vineyards water needs have been light. (Over watering will cause unwanted growth in the canopy. This can delay ripening.) We also take this opportunity to remove grape clusters that are not maturing with the rest of the crop. This also includes any second crop. (Second crop is the newly formed grape clusters in the canopy). This year due to the lighter than normal crop, there is more second crop than normal.
So when you look out at the Sonoma vineyards this time of year and see the vineyard looking a little pale with some yellow leaves, remember that is what makes our wines so special.
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