on March 21, 2012
I am writing this on the spring equinox, the gateway to a season with rewards of color and fragrance. Mother Nature and Father Time have performed their magic again! With our much needed recent rains and the former months of drier than normal weather, we are set for a spectacular showing of scale and form throughout the winery grounds. The bulbs along Highway 29 are out in force. The Red Emperor (tulip) steals the show, with countless multiplying daffodils flanking the side of the nearly 1200 foot-long bed. Just gearing up, our custom blend of wildflowers covers every square inch of soil along the highway in front of Nickel & Nickel. They are charged with carrying on the show for months to come, in shades of red, yellow and blue. Keep an eye out for the stately Yellow Lupine as it towers over its domain.
on February 8, 2012
It’s winter and the vines don’t know if it is raining or not. So, why do winemakers tend to obsess about weather at times like this? We like to plan ahead, there is only so much NPR we can discuss (to sound intellectual), and weather is a much safer topic than politics.
It has been mostly dry and warm this winter. (Remember, the vines are asleep and don’t know that skiing and the snow pack are more of a concept than a reality.) Winemakers are asking; What does it mean? What is going to happen? What kind of a year is it going to be? Those are easy questions. I don’t know the answers and neither does anyone else!
Daffodils in bloom by the Gleason Barn
However, it is the first week of February, and the daffodils have been blooming for some time, the mustard is attracting tourist photo stops (Rock Cairn, across from Brix should be charging fees it is so picturesque), and some fruit trees have started blooming. Those three things, not directly related to the vines, are the indicators I use when expecting an earlier or later spring. Sure, we may get some cold storms to change the timing, but for now, we think that the plant world of Napa Valley is waking up slightly ahead of normal.
An explosion of mustard in Rock Cairn Vineyard along Highway 29
Which brings me to Valentine’s Day. If you are a guy, pay attention: If you have already taken care of getting some Dolce for the occasion, get her flowers. Don’t forget. REALLY, DON’T FORGET. Maybe you remember the flower ad during the super bowl . . . Then again, maybe your brain stopped functioning and you didn’t notice what they were marketing. (I think some other ad had something to do with FIAT. . . )
But back to wine growing. I wouldn’t book your tickets for a harvest visit yet, but I am hoping that we will be picking in early September instead of waiting until October.