Thursday, June 11, 2020

Vines in the grass

This year, things seem different out in the vineyards that we've come to know over the past seventeen years. There have been personnel changes at the biggest winery whose vines we walk through every day. They use more seasonal crews for harvesting and pruning than they used to. The owners' daughter (who got her education in grape growing and wine making) seems to be making changes in the way the vineyards are maintained as she takes on more of a role in the family business. One example is a reduction in the use of herbicides. We see more and more vineyard parcels with tall grass than we have before, with plowing and mowing becoming the preferred method of weed control.

Grape vines and grass.

Several variety of deer control methods are being tried out all around us. I have no idea how well these work. I do see deer among the vines in the early hours of the day. We no longer see growers burning pruned vine canes in the winter. Common when we arrived here, burning has given way to mulching, which I imagine is better for the air and better for the soil. Until this year, we've only seen one vineyard plot dug up and replanted. This year, three large parcels have been ripped out, and one vineyard worker told me more are scheduled to be replaced next year.

These are our observations from our daily walks among the vines. We have no real expertise and we're not privy to the actual plans and practices of the people who grow the grapes and make the wine. Since we enjoy our local wine, it's interesting to watch the vineyards around us evolve over time.


  1. Among many other things, your blog is a history of your local vineyards. Thank you.

  2. Interesting. They might be converting to a "bio" label. Even "bio-dynamique".

  3. That's nice to see happening. One of our two favorite restaurants here, Primavera, prides itself on using only fresh, organic ingredients in everything they serve. Last year they took it all a step further with only "natural" wines. The staff have traveled to vineyards for group training, and have become expert in the wines. It's a pleasure to try them -- and they've been superior to what I'm used to around town.

  4. As opposed to splendor? ;)

  5. Good decision on the vineyard's part. Have you noticed any difference in other wine labels or wines that you choose?
    It would seem to stay in the game and keep up one would need to be moving to bio production in all things.

  6. bettyann, we do have lots of photos from over the years. Splendor, indeed! :)

    ellen, yes, I think there is a move toward organic for some of the growers.

    mitch, sounds good!

    mary, many wine regions in France that were once known for their cheap and below-par quality have been improved and even gone more upscale over the last couple of decades.


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