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

January, 2012

Fall set in gradually unlike 2009 where it went from summer to winter in one night. In order to try to cut down on our winter kill of young plants, we have stuffed all of the plants that are young enough to still have grow tubes with a straw mixture to try to insulate the plants from extreme cold. This technique has been used elsewhere successfully so we are giving it a try. Cannot afford to keep replanting! We will be watching to see if we have any mold or mildew problems as a result of the straw getting/staying wet. All of the weeds from the vineyard have been removed and it looks good for the winter.

Vineyard expansion is underway. The basic infrastructure for 25 new rows has been completed. There should be plenty of room for our 2,000 new Petite Sirah plants. A bulldozer ripped the remaining property north of the creek and up by the house. A lot of rocks were cleared away. Next, the wires will be strung and the irrigation lines and drippers installed in preparation for planting. Additionally, 925 Grenache, 80 Petite Sirah, 300 Viognier, and 325 Sirah plants will be replanted this spring that were killed last February by below zero cold spell.
The creekside vineyard property was scraped and all of the vegetation and rocks removed.

The land has been leveled so we can mow it when the weeds come back. It looks like a beautiful vineyard site if it works weather-wise.

We installed two remote/portable/wireless temperature and humidity weather stations to track temperatures in the creekside vineyard.

Since it is lower and adjacent to Ash Creek, we are concerned it might be too cold for the grapes to withstand cool weather/frosts after bud break.
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Creekside vineyard cleared
So far, temperatures have been about the same as the main station in the existing vineyard. The key data will be collected in March, April, and May. Hopefully we will be able to make the call whether this property is viable or not so we can make plans either way. Sure would be nice to have the space for a few thousand more plants down the road.

January has started off very mild and we hope it stays that way, but La Nina is still lurking! For more information about what is happening in the vineyard, Curt’s vineyard diary will be included on our new website. The diary chronicles every step of creating Lawrence Dunham Vineyards. All four years of it to date.

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