|Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 20:04:31 -0700|
Subject: May newsletter
We also have a wire down each side of the row that holds the new grape shoots in and helps them to grow upward. This wire gets set into place now, and is moved up with the shoots as they grow through the season. This is not a difficult or time-consuming job, but it does have to be done at just the right time or you'll break off many of the delicate new shoots.
(Click on any image below to go to website with more information/larger image/etc.)
▪ Schedule - open this weekend 24,25,26-May
The WABI member wineries (all BI wineries) are all open this weekend, for Memorial Day (including Monday). Hours: 11am-5pm all three days. All wineries are pairing charcuterie with our wines. Sorry I haven't gotten the specifics of our pairing yet - it'll be a challenge, but it'll be fun! So come visit an actual vineyard, and see the proto-grape clusters! It's a really neat time of year seeing the new growth.
Please also remember that most any day Mike can open the winery on just a few minutes notice by phone/txt 206-200-5902. And most every weekend we're open to the public.
▪ The Walter Clore CenterThose of you avid fans of the WA wine industry will recognize the name of Walt Clore. Walt is the official father of the WA state wine industry. Walt worked for WSU from the late 1930's 'til his retirement in the 1970's. His pioneering work with Vinifera grapes and his convincing of WA farmers to try it, is the reason WA state has a wine industry today. Truly every winery in the state, all 800+ of us, owe Walt a tribute. Millions of dollars in primarily private donations have created the Walt Clore center as his legacy. This is a lovely facility in Prosser which feature wines and information about wines from all of the state.
As the self-proclaimed historian of the WA wine industry, I'm excited to bring this up. But I admit, there's also a bit more than general education... Their grand opening is this Fri 30-May, it'll be great, I wish I could be there... However, each month they will be highlighting a particular AVA (region) in WA state. The first month will be the Puget Sound AVA (we were chosen by a lottery - they threw all the AVA names in a hat and drew us first!) So for the entire month of June, their tasting room will feature wines made by myself and friends in the Puget Sound AVA; Lopez Is., Vashon Is., Bainbridge, others.
What's mildly ironic about this is that it'll be way easier to go to Prosser to taste a whole bunch of PS AVA wines than it would be to visit the individual wineries! So head on over the mountains in June (it was 80+ and dry with a gentle breeeze today) and visit the new Clore Center.
I've been thinking I should mention this publication to my readers for a while now -- today I just got the perfect excuse! Wine Press Northwest is a website and weekly email about WA state wines and wineries. (They do also range in our neighboring wine areas, e.g. B.C. Canada, OR and ID.) It's a project of Andy Perdue who has been writing about WA wines as long as I can remember, which is at least the late 1980's... If you're not already on their email list, I highly recommend it - http://www.winepressnw.com/ and click on Magazine.
▪ Wine Press NW
Now, on to the excuse part... Today's issue features a 3 day trip plan to the Olympic Peninsula. It mentions several of my buddies in the Puget Sound WineGrowers association, and mentions most of the Bainbridge Island wineries.
▪ Winery - bottling, new releases
▪ Vineyard - shoot thinning, wire movingIn the vineyard the latest task is shoot thinning, Grape plants tend to put up lot's of little shoots from all sorts of places. Left to their own devices, they'll turn into a bush, completely uncontrollable. We humans think we know better than Mother Nature, or at least want the plants do bend to our whim. This may sound conceited, however we're growing grapes in a controlled way, so as to maximize harvest in a limited space, which is not necessarily how Mother Nature would choose. So we must shoot thin (also known as bud wiping). We spend less than a minute at each plant and snap off lots of extra new shoots which would become new branches if they remained. This limits excess growth on the plant, keeps down congestion in the senter area of the canopy, which in turn allows better air and spray access into the canopy. So even though there's less branches, we get a better crop.
If you're interested in learning about grape growing, or are just thrilled by the idea of helping out in a vineyard, feel free to reply to the email, and or join our PV-Helpers email list.
▪ Unused empty wine bottles for hobbyists