Right now, we’re in the eye of the hurricane. The fierce storms from the last few weeks have subsided.
Evidence of Texas size tornado’s and torrential downpours are visible in the hand-dug drainage channels that scar the vineyard and now double as speed bumps.
The wildflowers and the weeds were trying to stake a claim on all available swatches of land until the new mower arrived and the entire vineyard got a trim. Things sure are looking sharp around RCV!
The vines have also lavished the extra moisture and are already stretching their tendrils skyward with impressive shoots. We tuck them up into the high wires of the trellis so that the canopy grows just where we like it—out of the row and above the fruit. With tucking complete, we are now in the process of leaf pulling as the days grow warmer and drier. Removing the low-hanging foliage from around the fruit allows for air circulation and easy access to the clusters. It also makes the plants look very attractive if you ask us!
Dawg (aka Duke), the new vineyard English Coonhound, has been doing his part to keep pesky critters at bay. Though we no longer have to worry about raccoons feeding on the grapes, it is more of a challenge to get a sound night’s rest without earplugs. The good old boy runs amok at night and sleeps during the heat of the day in the shadow of the tractor.
A few weeks back we also welcomed the summer intern, Lorenzo, to our mix. He hails partly from Houston and partly from Italy. It’s a real treat to hear him speak Italian or catch the mellow tunes of his guitar on the still night air. As always, we are extremely grateful for the quality of helpers who come to assist us with our daily vineyard tasks.
The hard work of past seasons has also circled back around with the release of our delicious Chardonnay, Cloud Nine, from Pilot Knob winery. It was recently featured on the Vintage Texas blog and is poised to win numerous awards after it completes bottle shock.
We’re poised for a comparable fruit load as last season and expect to expand next spring with new varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Mourvèdre, and Grenache. We are also expanding our existing plantings of Syrah, and Viognier blocks.
Every day, the grape berries grow fatter and remind us that the hustle and bustle of harvest will be here before we know it. So for the moment, we’re savoring the relative quiet while it lasts, looking towards the future, and raising our glass to another productive Texas summer.