Although 2012 through 2016 have been deemed drought vintages, we continue to receive anywhere from 60% to 90% of our normal annual rainfall. But the reality is that rainfall amounts and weather patterns vary widely from year to year locally. While many other vineyards in the Napa Valley are claiming that this is the earliest bud-break that they have ever seen, bud-break on our Cabernet vineyard happened about two weeks earlier in 2015 (March 11) than in either 2014 (March 21) or 2016 (March 27). But the grapes always seem to catch up in the end, as we still have almost five months left of the growing season to determine the results of this vintage!
The consistent light rains that we are continuing to see have encouraged the crimson clover cover-crop in the vineyard to re-bloom after their first weed-eating just three weeks ago. Jim Barbour’s vineyard management crew has successfully added new rows of trellising in order to give more exposure to the vines in the cooler section. The entire vineyard has also been suckered leaving only the strongest shoots, nicely spaced at regular intervals on the arms and trunk.
The first blooms on our Cabernet arrived over Mother’s Day weekend! These tiny flowers will soon self-pollinate to form our 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon berries. We’ve been experiencing cooler, wet weather over the past few weeks which has significantly slowed down the bloom, but it’s still earlier than in years past. Now the question is: is this the new norm? Mother nature is a curious thing.
With the frequent spring showers, the vivid colors throughout Herb Lamb Vineyard pop from every angle! Wild poppies and nasturtiums are a few of our favorites to plant along the property.
And let’s not forget our friendly Vineyard watch dog, Camo. This weather has got her in tennis ball mode 24/7…