On my side of the winemaking equation is the requirement to produce the best grapes from our vineyard sites.  This can be a complicated process on sites that differ block-to-block and even within blocks.  As in all endeavors we learn from the past AND we hope to contribute knowledge that moves our skill ever forward.  While there is no substitute for the time-honored practice of boots on the ground we can add to that with new technologies.  Today’s image is an aerial photo of the John Sebastiano Vineyard.  First notice how complicated the layout of the individual blocks is, just the physical part of visiting every block is a huge task.  Data for the image is collected that allows the analysis of individual wavelengths that can be processed to produce what you see here.  This image shows a vegetative index (seen as a range of colors) that lets us know where vines are growing larger and smaller.  With this information we can identify areas of concern and fine-tune our visual inspections.  Modern technology assisting and adding to tradition.

As we enter July I see the vines in very good shape with a moderate crop.  The welcome and heavy rainfall we received last winter got the vines off to a very good start and that has had continued benifits.  We are now close to entering veraison.  This is a viticultural term that indicates the onset of sugar accumulation in the berries (ripening).  At veraison the vine shifts its focus from growing vegetation to putting sugar in the fruit.  A celebration for the birds and us!  This blog will be chronicling the process with regular posts.

For now, good to meet you and I will see you soon.