|Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2014 09:00:18 -0700|
Subject: PV Newsletter June 2014
Of course there's also always more weeding to be done. At this point it's mostly a matter of going up and down the rows with a weed whacker and just keeping the weeds from getting tall enough to invade the grape canopy.
(Click on any image below to go to website with more information/larger image/etc.)
▪ Schedule: today @ Lynwood Center, this weekend @ winery & Fremont
Today (Thu 19-Jun) is a special event at Lynwood Center on Bainbridge. The merchants there do a monthly special for a One-Call-For-All charity - this month is Friends Of The Farms. As a follower of this newsletter, you're undoubtedly aware the PV works closely with FotF, and in fact lease much of our grape property from them. So tomorrow at Suzanne Maurice Wine Bar, they will be serving our Islatage 2012 wine, which was produced entirely from grapes grown on FotF managed property. Visit Lynwood Center (if you haven't been there for a while, it's all done - it's really nice!), taste truly local BI wine, and meet Wendy Tyner, the Executive Director of FotF.
The WABI member wineries (all BI wineries) are all open this weekend, Sat-Sun (21,22-Jun). We're open 11am-5pm, the others open at noon. The vineyard is beautiful this time of year, lots of green and tiny flower clusters. We're just starting flowering, so you can have the rare experience of smelling grape flowers - it's very delicate and totally distinctive. By the time of our next big WABI weekend, flowering will be past, so plan on this weekend or else make an appointment with Mike and make the trip for this experience all by itself!
Another special event this Sat @ 3pm is the Fremont Solstice Parade! This event is, well, mildly weird... I watched the parade some years back, and remember being amazed at a pair of bicycle cops that went by, which I realized after they'd passed, were actually naked with body paint to look like policeman - it was that well done! Anyways, the Fremont Wine Tasting Room will have the winemaker from each of the seven wineries there, yes of course including myself. So on Saturday, this is the place to be!
Remember that PV IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC MOST EVERY WEEKEND. Each month there is a special event where all the wineries are open, including PV - this weekend is one of those. Most any other day Mike can open the winery on just a few minutes notice by phone/txt 206-200-5902.
▪ Upcoming releases, Rose' 13, Lem 13Last weekend I had a wonderful crew who came out and helped bottle the two largest lots of our 2013 wines. We bottled 121 cases; 50 of our 2013 Rose (100% Cabernet Franc from Yakima Valley), and 71 cases of Lemberger from Kiona Vineyards on Red Mountain. Bottling went fairly smoothly, the lunch catered by Andrew was universally agreed upon as fabulous, and everyone went home tired but with some wine and great memories! If you're interested in joining us for such fun events in the future (really, I'm not kidding, they are fun!), you might want to join our helpers email list.
▪ Early growing season & GDDThis growing year has started out wonderfully early. Although we've seen dramatic rain events and such, overall we have had much more warmth than a typical year. This is wonderful for all crops, everything is early - on the neighboring Suyematsu farm, they're well into the strawberry season and there are red raspberries - these will be ready very soon.
There is a common perception that winegrapes are best when they are "stressed". This is not wrong, but it's not really quite right either. Winegrapes express their most complex flavors when given the maximum amount of time to grow. Counterintuitively, this means that grapes do best in a cooler area, where they have the full growing season to develop flavors. Grapes grown in a climate that is too warm will ripen more rapidly and will be less interesting. The art of winegrape growing is mostly that of matching the grape variety to the climate/vineyard site.
Winegrape suitability to an area is measured by Growing Degree Days (GDD), which is (simplified) the sum of daily temperatures. Our weather station data at PV is available on our website, updated every 10 minutes. We also have a custom GDD chart as it builds throughout the year. The chart shows very clearly this years advanced state. This last weeks "June gloom" is bringing it down, but we're still ahead - today almost double (428) the worst year (2011) of 222.
So the moral of the story is that this is looking to be the best growing season yet!
▪ New & ongoing outlets
▪ Vineyard - leaf pulling, weedingNext vineyard task is leaf pulling. In our cool growing climate we must pull most of the leaves from in front of the grapes - in warmer climates it's not as critical. We do this to ensure that sunlight can get in to the fruit so as to dry off any overnight dew or any rainfall as quickly as possible as this moisture is what allows Powdery Mildew to form. This also helps our protectant sprays to get into the fruit zone thus stopping the PM.
▪ Unused empty wine bottles for hobbyists