by Jay DeWitt, Managing Partner and Vigneron
It has been a full 12 months since our 2022 crop was wiped out by the hailstorm. At the beginning of this crop year, we could only guess what effects the damage would have on the 2023 crop. There were some problems, but, shortly after bud break, the crew was able to sort through and remove the shoots that were not growing normally.
Since the plants didn’t have many leaves left after the storm, they were unable to fully replenish themselves. As a result, this year’s leaves, clusters, and berries are smaller than expected. Small berries are what we hope for every year, because the flavors are more concentrated and the wine is better.
After getting a late start due to a cool spring, the temperatures have been favorable since, the vineyard has caught up. The end of veraison is near. The crew is making the last pass through to remove unwanted clusters. Then they will apply the bird nets. It has been dry, which is good for grape quality. It is important that the plants experience a little stress before veraison, but from now on we will give them all the water they want through our drip irrigation system. Now we just need another 6 weeks of reasonable weather, without smoke or an early frost. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?