This dried tendril has nothing to do with new plantings or freeze damage, but I thought that it was rather beautiful and encouraging.
Back to the thoughts at hand. This spring we planted 20 acres of Tempranillo and 10 acres of Trebbiano on the 24th and 25th of March. You can see the freshly planted field beyond these Cabernet Sauvignon vines.
The circle system here is a reminder to us of how our vineyards are slowly replacing our row crops because of the reduced amount of underground water available to us for farming large acreages of row crops. Those acres will slowly become what we call dryland acres which are irrigated by the rains only and not by additional underground water sources. The green in the field that you see is rye which was planted between the rows to keep the fields from blowing. The underground drip, bamboo, wires, and end posts have not been put in yet. You can’t even see the grape plants because they are covered in dirt to keep them warm till they push out into the world in a few weeks.
Wait look, I found one.
Here is another one. They really don’t look like much, but they are a promise for the future.
We also put in an acre of Malvasia Bianca in Dandy’s vineyard. We will also be putting vine’s into our nursery vineyard that will be nurturing vines to use as replants to fill in spots in the existing vineyards that need new plants here and there next year. Perhaps it is odd to discuss new plantings while also giving an update on freeze damage to this year’s crop. Wouldn’t the challenges of High Plains weather discourage us from continuing? I guess you can tell that it at least hasn’t totally discouraged us.
We are still optimistic that we can learn to deal with the High Plains’ weather challenges. Although we were very disappointed after the last April freeze that we had two weeks ago, we are now very encouraged. That freeze was the third worst April freeze that we have had in fifty years. Last year was the worst April, actually May, freeze in the last fifty years. For six hours on the morning of Monday, April 15th, we had freezing temperatures of twenty-two degrees. Immediately after the freeze, we were seeing 50% to 80% damage with a large amount a damage to the Viognier.
But now we see the vines are bouncing back with such vigor with numerous and healthy secondary buds that it is amazing. We really need even two more weeks for a good report, but it is amazing that we might have a full crop of Viognier in some of the vineyards. Cliff believes that the vines had such a light load last year because of the freeze damage reducing the crop load that their health this year is wonderful. Where we were wondering if we would have much of a crop this year, it really looks that we may have a wonderful crop. Healthy and numerous clusters can be seen in the vineyards. We will wait and see how the rest of spring goes.
The buds of spring are a refreshing encouragement! We are looking forward to this year.