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Harvest Notes 2011

The dust has just now settled from the busy 2011 wine grape harvest. As we clean up & store our picking equipment for the year we reflect on how weather and timing affected the quality of this seasons grape harvest. After two challenging seasons in 2009 & 2010, a 2011 growing season more conducive to producing ripe opulent fruit would have been a welcome contrast. Alas, the late spring delivered an unseasonable inch or two of rain. The timing of the rain coincided with spring flowering in many vineyards. The result was a diminished fruit seta in some of the vineyard blocks. The resulting grape clusters ranged from those with normal to near normal berries per cluster to clusters affected by a high degree of shatterb. Our work was cut out early for us at Colinas Farming Company. If we were to take advantage of the very best of what the season had to offer our clients we needed to be especially diligent with timing our inputs and deployment of our resources. In order to balance the crop with the vegetative growth, special attention had to be paid to which shootsc were to be selected to remain on the vine and which shoots needed to be removed. In the shatter-affected blocks extra canesd were needed to bring the vines into balance with the fruit load. More typical shoot removal and positioning could be employed in the blocks not affected by the early rains. 

As the crop ripened in the late summer to early fall, another series of unseasonable events stalled out the ripening process and threatened to infect susceptible varieties with a fungal pathogen-botrytis and other serious infections. However, at Colinas Farming Company, well-timed and directed crop protectants helped to minimize the growth of disease and limited the number of fungicidal sprays required to bring in the crop with the maximum quality. Again, at Colinas Farming Company we were able to take advantage of the best of what the 2011 season had to offer. The wines delivered to our clients will certainly produce some of the best wines of the vintage.

 

Definitions:

 

a.      fruit set -the percentage of blooms that develop to become berries
b.      shatter- the degree to which the percentage of berries per cluster fail to pollinate and fall from the cluster
c.       shoots-  consists of stems, leaves, tendrils, and fruit and is the primary unit of vine growth
d.      canes – mature shoots after leaves fall

 

- Submitted by Chris Pedemonte, a Colinas Farming Company Vineyard Manager