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Curt in the Dirt - Winery Updates Back to Curt in the Dirt

January, 2011

LDV Winery
Curt in the field checking grapes
We had a very successful growing season as the second and third year vines produced nice fruit and the new vines became established and are poised to produce fruit in 2011.

Of the 1,800 new Viognier plants that went in the ground in April, only seven did not make it – an astonishing 99.6% take rate.

I have never heard of anything like this before! Proof again that this place is a grape-growing son-of-a-gun!
We had some of the usual pests such as bees, wasps, and tomato worms to contend with along with our first fungus outbreak.

Other vineyards in Arizona have experienced fungus quite regularly but we had not seen it around these parts until this year. We are going to preemptively treat the vineyard for this fungus early this growing season so we can keep it in check.

Fortunately we caught it relatively early before it could do a lot of damage. We only lost a handful of plants.
LDV Winery
Harvest at the vineyard
We also had a bit of bunch rot on our Petite Sirah due to several consecutive heavy rains after veraison (grapes turning purple – remember?). We had to treat the vineyard with a fungicide and a baking soda and water solution. The bunch rot was pretty much cleared up prior to picking. Bunch rot not only lowers yields but can also taint the wine if not eradicated prior to crushing.

LDV Winery
Pressing operation at the winery
We are still feeling the effects of the
October 2009 hard freeze as we will need to replant another 80 Petite Sirah, 412 Grenache and 227 Syrah plants in mid April.
Hopefully after this replanting, we can put that freeze event behind us.

Fall was mild as the plants continued to grow until late in October and had plenty of time to go into hibernation before we experienced significant cold weather in early December; where we had our first night in the teens. Late winter we will begin to prune the plants in preparation for April’s bud break.

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