July 2010 – It’s easy being green

Things are way greener now as the summer has finally kicked into gear. The summertime sunlight and heat are now helping those vines to grow greener and wilder. The grapes are starting to get bigger and are developping slowly. My 5 year-old son came along with me and helped take some photos in the middle of the second week of July. First stop, Rustico Farm Cellars at the south end of the Golden Mile.

Rows of vines at Rustico Farm Cellars.
Clusters of small grapes at Rustico.
Guest photographer - from my son's camera
My son's photo of Rustico owner, Bruce Fuller and myself.

We checked out a little of what has become of the Testalinden mudslide that happened in June. It passes fairly quickly on the highway but you can still see quite a bit of damaged buildings and dried mud. If you haven’t already, please consider donating to the mudslide victims. Information is available here.

Off we went to Road 13 for a quick visit and to see how the vines were coming along from last months installment. I didn’t want to use the same vines again from month to month because I thought it would be more interesting to show difference places. Each vineyard is unique and each vigneron’s methods equally so. But there were a couple of different things happening here that I thought were interesting to show.

Like at Rustico, these vines haven't been tucked into their wires yet. One major job in the vineyards at this time of year is tucking the shoots into the wires of the trellis and trimming off the tops of the vines.
These rows have been tucked and have a much neater appearance. Tucking controls the leaf canopy and allows each row of vines to get equal amounts of sunlight.

Cutting the tops of the shoots stops their growth and forces the vine to put more energy into the grapes rather than growing more shoots.

Trucker hats are a necessity in the vineyard and wine shop. (photo by my son, who also photographed every single item in the entire wineshop, including most of the photos on the digital photo frame. This one was the best and most in focus.)