Southern California has been experiencing wave after wave of rain storms this past week, complete with high winds, thunder, lightning, and lots of rain. It doesn't take long for innate nettle seeds in our sandy soil to come alive as a vibrant green carpet in our backyard Domaine de Manion vineyard.
This is a point in time where the vineyard is beautiful in its simplicity. Unabashed beautiful bare structure, magnified by repetition of vine after vine exposing groomed cordon arms and last year's upward shoots held high. It is close to the last moment of calm and dormancy before this year's vineyard activities commence.
Soon, my husband John, and yours truly will begin spur pruning each vine along its cordon arms. These all-important cordon arms, host fruit spurs with inevitable buds ready to swell into tiny new shoots. This process begins the onset of this year's awakening of our vineyard.
It is an exciting time for us, considering the many unknowns, and anticipation of our third harvest this coming fall. It is a time to reflect on last year, and this year ahead, both years converging briefly at the same time. What will the weather be like this year? Will it be especially advantageous to our vineyard? Will it be a special year for our grapes? Will we harvest a higher grape yield this year? Will it be a late harvest? Will there be a surprise?
What differences will we see as our vineyard is another year older, and as grape growers we are another year wiser? Will our many footsteps amongst the grapevines this year, translate into producing a great syrah grape, and in turn a great syrah wine? Ah, only time will tell.
Please share if you have experienced the winter beauty of a vineyard. Please comment if you have helped friends in their winter vineyard.
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