Greetings, friends! It’s been a busy growing season so far, so it must be time for an update on our vineyard progress. The generous rains that we experienced at the end of 2016 and throughout the winter and spring of 2017 have been a boon to our little hillside vineyard.
Though twice the average rainfall is a lot to absorb, the vines are growing at a tremendous pace and will be accessing all the stored moisture in the soils for many months to come!
Bud break came after the pruned vines at the end of March, a few weeks later than it has in the past few “drought” years.
But the vine growth has picked up considerably with many warm days in the ‘90s and above, and bloom and set of the individual grapes has just finished, forming large healthy bunches with an amazingly abundant canopy of leaves to shade them from the mid-day sun.
Looking at potential growing degree days necessary to fully ripen the Cabernet Sauvignon in a north-east facing hillside, this puts harvest somewhere near the middle of October if the right weather conditions prevail. That said, as I write this, we’re experiencing a heat snap — a few back-to-back days of 100+ degree weather here in the Valley. Fingers crossed, and welcome to my world of farming! Always exciting and fearful at the same time.
One last update! Here at Herb Lamb Vineyards, we’re proud to officially be Napa Green Certified Land. Sustainable with minimum intervention, our vineyard is farmed with respect for the land and animals who inhabit it. Napa Green is a comprehensive environmental certification program for vineyards and wineries in the Napa Valley. The program represents a soil-to-bottle approach to environmental stewardship and winemaking, integrating holistic management practices at every step of the process. Independent, third-party certification of farms and winemaking facilities makes Napa Green one of the most comprehensive environmental accreditations the wine industry offers. Learn more at https://napagreen.org/.
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Images: Emma K. Morris