Posts tagged syrah grape varietal
"N" is for Necessary Netting

DSC_0431 It is the special time of year in our Syrah vineyard when the grapes begin to show their color and start their verasion process. Grapes turn from green and hard to the touch, to their first blush of color and softer to the touch. Verasion in our vineyard tells us we are about 8 weeks away from our harvest, give or take the ensuing weather leading up to the harvest.

With grape clusters turning color, it is necessary to net every grapevine row to protect our harvest crop from attentive wildlife and even our free-range chickens. See my previous post on this for more information, Vineyard Ready for Netting.

For our backyard vineyard, netting takes about an hour and a half, with enthusiastic friends who lend a helping hand.

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Nets have been carefully rolled up and stored since last year's harvest. Nets will stay in good shape, and can be used year after year for the vineyard. The netting is rolled out, and taking the leading net edge hoisted over the top of each row so the netting covers equally both sides of the grapevines, and essentially the entire vineyard row. Next we take simple wooden clip clothes pins and clip together the netting. The entire vineyard row with netting is clipped underneath the vines and around the end posts.

Many thanks to our friends who helped this weekend! This year our friend, Karen Contreras, owner of Urban Plantations, joined us for the netting process. Urban Plantations specializes in the design and maintenance of edible landscaping around San Diego County.

Please share if you have problems with wildlife eating your ripening fruit or grapevines? Simple netting is a simple way to protect your harvest.

Vineyard Ready For Netting

It is that time of year. The vineyard is abundant with grape clusters, and the veraison process is just beginning. Veraison is the stage or process when the green grapes begin transitioning from hard to soft to the touch, and their color changes from green to eventually their particular harvest color, depending on the grape varietal. In our case, mature syrah grapes are almost black in color at harvest.

We net the vineyard for protection reasons. It is the same concept, if you net or protect fruit trees with sun-ripened ready fruit. Birds of all kinds (even domestic chickens), and wildlife such as raccoons, coyotes, can feast on a vineyard and in some cases quickly eat your entire crop for the year. We have heard of vineyard owners who had their unprotected vineyard  crop eaten in a weekend. Please note, netting is a good practice and economical for backyard vineyards. Commercial wine regions that have acres and acres of vineyards are not usually netted.

Netting is a simple way to protect your harvest. The optimum net size is the entire length of a grapevine row plus two feet extra per end post to cover end posts. Nets are rolled out along side the grapevine row. Thrown over the row of grapevines, and clipped at both end posts and and at each grapevine above the drip irrigation with wooden clothespins. A netting source in California is Jim's Supply .

Right before harvest, we have our enthusiastic friends and family remove the clothes pins, and roll up the netting for the next year. Please share if you use netting to protect a crop from wildlife.