Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Raley has oats sown in the fields this Spring. They're growing up tall and green and lovely. The vineyard season is in full swing now. Buds began to break early April during a warm spell. There was one night that came close to 32 degrees, and that was all we've seen of old man winter since. The weeds threatened to get ahead of us, but judicious control measures have put them in check and have allowed us to concentrate on the vines. Current focus is on shoot thinning: our pruning efforts this past winter were informed by a year's experience and it shows. We have many more shoots on each vine this year, and can now go through the vineyard picking just the right density for the season. Once we have the vines down to 4-6 shoots per foot of cordon we'll begin the task of positioning each shoot to grow straight by taping it to the lowest catch wire, which is located about eight inched above the cordon wire.