June 16, 2011

June at Armstrong vineyard

667 block at the highest part of Armstrong Vineyard
I took a little time the other day to walk my rows at Armstrong Vineyard on Ribbon Ridge. Spring has come late this year, like last year and not like last year.

In 2010, we had an early budbreak. Then cold, wet weather set in for April, May and June, pushing back the growing season several weeks. In the end, a nice October saved the day, just like in 2008.

This year, there was no early start. Just cold and wet, with a late budbreak and slow progress with the new shoots all through May. Now we find ourselves in a similar place to last year at this time. A few, perhaps several weeks behind in the growing season, weeks that are hard to make up.

But that's neither here nor there at this point. Look at these pictures. Armstrong looks great. Summer looms. There are months until harvest. And considering we picked here last year on October 8, at beautiful ripeness without excess sugars, perhaps I should be more excited about another perfect harvest?

It's not a winemaker's job to be overly optimistic, I guess. But amazing things always happen, no?

Sandy, white soil on the higher part of the vineyard on Ribbon Ridge

Inflorescence - what will become flowers and then grape clusters

Steep east/west rows in the 667 block

North/South rows lower in the vineyard, in the Pommard block

Browner soil here in the lower section

No comments: