.:Winter in the Vineyard:.
The last grapes were picked October 25th bringing the 2003 harvest to an end. Although the bulk of the visible work moved to the winery, the vineyard was not idle. After giving up 16 tons of rich red grapes the vines continue to work on the 2004 harvest. The fruit for 2004 begins life in 2003. Come fall the fruit destined to be produced the following year is in an embryonic state. The vines have two tasks to complete prior to winter. The first is to store nutrients in the roots and trunk for bud break in spring. The second is to complete the transformation of the tender green skin on this year's growth to hard bark to protect the vine and nascent fruit from freezing winter temperatures.
To help the vines recover from their work and to prepare for next year the vineyard is fertilized and watered. The vines work on recovery until the first hard frost drive the vines into dormancy. Like other plants, such as roses and apples, the dormant period is crucial to the health of the vine and the quality of next year's fruit. One other task requires our attention once the fall rains begin and that is weed control. It is important to control weeds in the watering zone while allowing native vegetation elsewhere in the vineyard to prevent erosion and provide a habitat for beneficial insects and birds. The vineyard is an amazing, living place, which we will talk about more next time.
Until than, a votre sante.
The winter vineyard
January: Last year's rampant growth awaits pruning.
March: neatly pruned and ready for spring growth
Leaf bud in January
Copyright © 2003-2010 Ophir Wines. All Rights