HORN SILICA (BD 501) SPRAYED, FLOWERING IN THE VINEYARD, SHOOT THINNING


We’ve observed Sangiovese flowering this week–beating the Tempranillo ( temprano: which means ‘early’). Also, just this morning as we were driving through the vineyard–which happens to be our driveway, Mary slammed on the brakes and said “I know we’re late, but I think I just saw the olives flowering!” and sure enough, those little guys were looking like perfectly popped popcorn. This doesn’t necessarily mean the fruit is setting. As Jancis Robinson describes this stage in The Oxford Companion for wine:

“Flowering is an important event in the annual growth cycle of vines, the
process preceding the fertilization of vine flowers and their subsequent
development into berries. The sequence of events includes the opening of
individual flowers, with the calyptra being shed, pollen being liberated, and
ovules becoming fertilized. Fertilization leads to berries being set, the
stage following flowering…the flowering process in the vineyard is so notably
unspectacular that is likely to be missed by the casual observer. The
vine-grower, however, is aware that this process is particularly important in
the chain of events that leads up to harvest…Flowering, or bloom, takes place
about six to 13 weeks after budbreak…”

So naturally, this is an important time for us. Just as exciting and refreshing as witnessing budbreak is, this is equally as emotional. Only this time, our fingers are crossed that those babies will develop into flavorful, healthy berries.

On Wednesday, May 14th, Phillip and Gustavo applied the first of a series of
3 sprays of BD501, ground up horn silica. The stirring began 1/2 hour before
sunrise and continued for an hour making alternative vortexes and chaos. BD 501
is sprayed on the foliage of each plant. It attracts light into the plant. Later in the growing cycle, at harvest, it can be used to encourage a vine to ripen it’s fruit if necessary. The application rate was 3 grams an acre in 3+ gallons of water.

We’re shoot thinning StoneCross, PlayGround and Terrace Vineyards at the
moment. It is back-breaking work as the plants are so close to the ground and
the temperatures outside are in the high 90′s. All the new plants are taking well with the exception of Counoise and Grenache Blanc. We hope they’re just being tardy… We’re also applying 5 gallons of water via buckets to these 600+ little darlings.