We are seeing Veraison throughout the vineyards, in every red varietal with the exception of Grenache. Veraison is the intermediate stage of grape berry development which marks the beginning of ripening. At the beginning of veraison, the berries are hard and green, and about half their final size. During veraison, the berries change skin color and begin to soften, sugars and volume increase and acidity decreases. Not all the berries on a cluster go through veraison at the same time, as you will see from the photo above. We term veraison when about 50% of the clusters are showing color change. Hence…time to get the bird protection out of storage and in the vineyards! Because our vineyard shows veraison earlier than our neighboring vineyards, the birds feast their little hearts out before multiple choice of eating locations sets in. (Historically, we have reported veraison at least 2 weeks earlier than others…)

7/21–We made a Yarrow/Nettle tea, 1/2 ounce of each which we brewed and steeped overnight (on the 20th) and applied on the 21st, a flower day according to the Biodynamic calendar. We mixed the tea with 3 gallons of water per acre and applied it to all vineyards, by hand and on foot. Yarrow functions in the area of reproduction and growth, and permits the plants to attract trace elements in extremely diluted quantities for their best nutrition. Nettle functions in the area of foodstuffs, stimulates soil health, provides the plants with individual nutrition components and enlivens the earth (soil).

7/10–We are battling powdery mildew in Mark’s Vineyard, especially in the Tempranillo. Phillip believes it is from last year’s mild case of powdery mildew we saw in Grenache and then the spores were carried on the wind. Also, we didn’t heavily thin the Tempranillo when pruning in the Spring since we were concerned with cane damage from the high winds. (We left many canes on the vine just in case a considerable amount of them were broken off in the winds.) We applied Kaligreen Potassium Bicarbonate (organic) to the 1 acre of Tempranillo and 1 3/4 acres of Grenache, 5 lbs diluted in 50 gallons of water per varietal.

On the 21st, Phillip and I celebrated our 10 year FIRST DATE anniversary with Scott and Bobbi Stelzle of Venteux Vineyards. We shared our story–we of course knew each other through business (floorcovering), but it was a shared interest in wine that gave cause for Phillip to invite me to dinner. And the rest is history, we were together from that moment on. We celebrated with our favorite comfort food, Spaghetti Bolognese and eventually ended the evening with our love, Burgundy. The wines of the evening: Adelaida 2006 Version, Domaine Tempier 2007 Bandol, Venteux 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, AmByth 2006 Grenache Blend, Caparone 1995 Nebbiolo and Chambolle-Musigny 1998 Premier Crus les Amoureuses. The Burgundy was brilliant, so delicious on the tongue and so…perfect. Here’s to another and another and another decade, hopefully there are more and more to come.