VIT 101 continued from last Monday…

APRIL 8, 2015:

Vines are trained in two different ways. This is the other way, with cordons being discussed in last week’s Viticulture blog. It’s called a “head pruned vine.” The trunk grows up, each spring it grows canes (with leaves, shoots, and tendrils). It then is pruned back during the winter months, to start all over again the following spring.

I took this picture at Field Stone Winery and Vineyard in the fall, years ago. These vines are now 130 years old!

Rita Connor: Great color

Jo Diaz: Fall can be beautiful out here. The color of the vines shows disease… Our little secret. It’s Pierce’s Disease. It doesn’t affect the flavor of the wines. It just reduces the vine’s strength, until it’s finally gone. UC IPM – “It’s caused by sap-feeding insects that feed on the xylem”

APRIL 9, 2015:

Taking the glamor and romance away from a vineyard, to get to the heart of it, the most important thing to remember is that it is a grape crop grown in a garden. In many cases, it’s grown right along side other fruits and vegetables… In this case, artichokes are in the foreground at Iron Horse Vineyards, with the vineyard being in the background.

Rita Conner: Love this information. I know the reason they plant all those beautiful roses along the edges of the vineyard.

Jo Diaz: They are more for decoration than for anything else. When I first got here, people were talking about rose flavors in the wines. It would take so many roses to even begin to do such a thing, but it did sound very romantic. This is why I wrote about about the “glamor and romance.” I’m reducing it down to dirt. LOL; but, it’s really pretty dirt.

Rita Connor: We were told that the roses were an early detection of a bug infection. Therefore they knew how to protect the vineyard. Fact or fiction?

Jo Diaz: I forgot about that one.  You’re right. Thanks for the memory jog. Powdery mildew… Thanks… Helping me through it all, Rita.

Now, I’ll have to find an image in my thousands with rose bushes at the end of vines. I’ve taken this to my wine blog as a once a week blog. You’re mentioned and I wanted to ask you if I can link your name to Facebook. I didn’t do it without asking permission. This week I’ve been in a writing frenzy for one client, so I forgot to ask you. Here’s a link: Wine Blog

[Photo Credit: Rita Connor]

Rita Connor: Of course you can. This is a picture I took in 2007


APRIL 10, 2015

Along with viticulture being complemented with adjoining crops, like the olive trees in the image above,  they can also be enhanced with integrated pest management. Owl and hawk boxes help to keep the rodent population down… much preferred to those pesky rattle snakes doing it for us in California. But there are other critters who are a natural complement, too, which I learned in Portugal. Europe is more earthy and holistic than we Americans are, when it comes to matters like these. Sheep… mowing between the rows and fertilizing as they go along, too… This was delightful to see. I hadn’t yet seen this in California, but do have to say that I’ve now seen it at Tres Sabores in Napa.