Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Story Continues....

The story of our start up vineyard continues now at:

Which I've set up as a blogazine giving you an inside peek into our vineyard, the wines our grapes produce, the people we love, the sights we see and the food we eat.

Please visit, bookmark and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Notes on a growing season

Strange days.
The season started off promising, with an unusually early and warm spring. Gentle showers periodically brought welcome moisture to the growing vines through April and May.
June came with clear skies that did not end until well into August. The days were HOT and DRY. At one point, even the hardiest, oldest, most well established vines showed signs of being thirsty.
We thought the whites would come in early, but I think the heat and drought delayed ripening, so they came in about the usual time. Each variety had scattered raisins within the clusters. Very sweet, dried fruit that added considerable sugar concentration to the final juice.
After that the rains came.
Reds that were two weeks away from harvest at the beginning of September remained that far away well through October as one wet weather front after another moved through. No hurricanes, no tropical storms, just periodic, steady rains. The temperatures turned unseasonably cool at this time, helping to keep the fruit and canopy healthy the whole time.
We'll harvest our last four varieties this weekend: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cao, Mourvedre, and the other half of the Marsanne we left hanging before the rains.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's been a's an update from west pete


- we were able to get samples for all varieties; VB brix have gone down
slightly with recent rains so outlook for harvest is likely Sept 11 or later

- all but one row in lot 12 have high catch wires run; ran out of wire on
last row and did not have time to respool; watch for wire on the ground in
that row if you mow

- still a few rows in lot 12 where we need to tie up the vines to get them
off the ground or off of other vines; focus on eastern 10 rows

- cleaned bottles at CH house for 2009 vintage


- inspected lot 12 perimeter for possible future acreage

- did not spray

- rain starting around 1030

- GB bottled much of 2009 vintage; need shelf space for them

- PB worked 8 hours at winery pressing Cayuga and recruiting


- 1/8th inch in gauge at farm; seemed like more than that at house and at

- grass is growing like crazy

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

west Pete situation report

Another 4 or 5 inches of snow here before it seemed to stop around 3:00 today.

I think what I will do is get Bill to drop me off at the farm Friday morning and then I will dig out the barn door, get the tractor out, and start trying to plow some access paths so we can try to get in and out of sheds, barns, vineyards, and house on the weekend.

Then I will just drive the tractor to my house and plow my driveway. Can return it when someone else can give me a ride back from the farm.

I will talk to Samuel after I firm up my plans with Bill tomorrow and see if he wants to come over. We can split tractor, shovel, and fireman duties. He would have to walk or get a ride both ways, though.

Thought about trying to do this tomorrow, but I think it will just be too rough on the roads and weather to try then. Plus my work schedule is better with Friday and I don’t see much advantage to starting a day early.

Does anyone know how we are stocked on diesel fuel?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

over head netting

if you follow this blog, or you live on the east coast, or you are fan of the The Weather Channel, then you know it's been a challenging year, weather-wise, in the vineyard. Now that the growing season is done and the vines have dropped their leaves one might expect the drama to recede.
I wish I had the camera with me this weekend to post a picture of the scene after an early-season snow fall hit the vineyard before we had a chance to take down the bird netting that did such a great job of protecting our crop during veraison. It's an impressive sight: sharp daggers of posts suspend drooping netting that touch the ground in long, snow covered valleys running down the row middles.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

an update from east Pete

More work in small barn getting 2nd level ready to store rest of the lugs. Lugs on trailer to take to Charlotte Hall (hereafter CH) for cleaning. Believe they should be sqeaky clean before storing in barn. Cleaned out stall holding Pallets, now SCAG parking.

Measured corn field site of Lot 13. From north end to apple tree on south end, are in corn this year was approx 2.2 acres. As need be this could be expanded some by moving up the hill toward the house by another 25 ft. That space will provide an additional 1/3 acre and will help get out of the shade of the big Sycamores and other trees on the south east.

Charlie will call Mike R- and inform him that field will no longer be available for his use and that we would consider hiring him to help us prepare that field for grapes if he is interested. We also need to know from him what pesticides/herbicides and other amendments he may have used. We did not have time to auger various locations to test for hard pan.

Gish brothers help most appreciated.

I attended a show and tell at the POL Winery for the 5 Commissioners, town Council, County and Town Staff, MARBIDCO, AG DEV Commission etc. Very well received. Some Chamborcin must perking away in the box containers. If you stick your head in the carbon dioxide will clear the sinuses big time. Bob Schaller introduced me as a spokesman for our family and the success of Rootstock 09 that was so impressive. Also favorable mention of our crops fermenting in the tanks. The Commish knew who we were when told of vineyards on Golden Beach Rd. Pat, Rich, Caroline, Steve, James, Mary and Joe Wood, David, Chris Bologna also helped. And Steve McHenry of MARBIDCO, and Christine Bergmark of SMADC were there for the first time. A very positive session. They all want us to make very good wine! and be successful.