Jeff’s Corner 12-28-17

Happy Happy Healthy Healthy New Year, Everyone!

Another spin around the sun, with a new orbit just begun.  Sometimes lately, however, I feel the earth is speeding up while I am slowing down.  Ah, well…

Anyway, onward through the vines with a special treat from our Vineyard Manager extraordinaire, Clint Messimer.  Several times a year Clint sends us an update on what’s going on in the vineyards.  I never know when it will happen ( I got this last Friday), but it’s always fascinating.

Clint has graciously allowed me to share this on Jeff’s Corner, and if any of you have questions I’ll rustle up an answer for you.  Happy New Year once again, and thanks again to you, Clint!

“Hey everybody,

We’re rounding up a fantastic year in the vineyards and thankfully, we’re going into winter in tip-top shape.  We’ve completed all our fall nutrient applications and have gotten a good amount of slow soaking rain, which is perfect for winding down the season.  Fall is one of the two times of year when we have rapid root growth where the roots are really seeking out nutrients for winter storage–rains were right on time.  Also, the cold weather has put the breaks on sap flow giving us the opportunity to start our prepruning.

Prepruning is the first part of double pruning, which helps in disease control and divides the workload of pruning into two parts, leaving the least amount of labor in the later.  The disease control part is just two basic things.  One, any pruning wound in the dormant season is an invitation for disease because the vine can’t seal itself.  But, the good thing is, anything that actually gets into a pruning wound during winter will only travel down into the tissue an inch or so at best.  So by pruning high and leaving 8-12″ canes, any infected material will be cut off during final pruning in early spring.  The second thing is, by removing all that canopy and burning the cuttings, we are reducing the area that disease spores can inhabit and overwinter.  It also gives us the opportunity to take our time throughout the winter removing canes and spur positions that we don’t want.  We treat all these wounds with a biological paint that creates a bactericide/fungicide barrier.  Anyway, maximizing our winter hours on all this stuff makes final pruning a breeze when early spring rolls around.

Looking forward to an awesome 2018!

Merry Christmas y’all,