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In the Vineyard

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Dormant Days

Happy New Year! And onward we go. This fall was very busy, but somehow I managed to get close to 500 lbs of GSM off the new grafts and current vines. The wine is in the barrel, aging away, but struggling to get through malolactic fermentation. An electric blanket is …

Pruning Complete

Given that the Mourvedre was still in its infancy and the grafts for the Grenache and Syrah have yet to make it through a full year, I enlisted some help from a fellow winemaker to help me prune. In return, I paid his way into the 8th Street Wineries Open …

Great Giraffe Graft

Since my last post oh so many months ago, a truckload of changes have occurred in my little winery. I finally got around to getting the grafting done. I scored some great budwood and 99.9% of the grafts have taken. So much so that I actually had about 6oz of …

When to Graft

Step 1. Find bud wood. Step 2. Hold the bud wood through the winter. It seems these are the first steps to getting the bud wood I need to graft the Grenache and Syrah. JG (my winemaker friend) has already found Syrah bud wood, and is now looking for Grenache. …

Out with the Old, in with the GSM

I had a revelation the other day driving home. Given that I have three distinct varietals planted, and never shall they find themselves in the same barrel, I’ve decided to chop the tops of the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir vines, and graft in Grenache and Syrah. Why? This will …

Spring in the Vineyard

Well, the crush came and went. The holidays. The new year, and not much from the Giraffe winemaker. So let me see if I can catch you up. Pruning happened sometime in January, early February. I took each cane down to a spur with two buds. In hindsight, and talking …

More Mourvedre Pt II

The second round of Mourvedre is in the ground. After taking down the trellis system we put up last year, and drilling some new holes with the help of a friend and the neighbor’s tractor, the next 25 Mourvedre vines are in the ground and happy. I went like this. …

Pruning Time Again

I started pruning the vines during the holiday break, getting through about three of seven rows. The Stive kids were there to help move some of the pruned canes to the trash pile. Interesting how some vines look their age (over three years) versus others that are just getting started. …

The Last Leaf to Drop

Winter is upon us in Sonoma – in a big way. Temperatures fell below freezing last night, helping to drive the vines into dormancy. There are but one or two straggling leaves left on the vines, so I can now get a good view at what my pruning plan will …