With the first growth of the year we are actively rubbing weaker buds and pulling shoots from the vine trunks with an eye to better flowering and fruit growth. This means that we must touch every vine by hand several times on the estate vineyard. That is approximately 28,000 vines – so we must begin early in the morning when it is still brisk and work until late afternoon with temperatures pushing into the 80’s.
The steep slopes are almost 30 degrees so this work is not a walk in the park. One of the effects of shoot thinning this early is that we open the canopy to the drying winds which reduces moisture and the threat of mildew using good old Mother Nature. We are in the 3rd year of 4 waiting for our Organic Certification and the vines, soil, and workers are thriving in the clean environment.