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

April, 2014

LDV Winery
Viognier Buds

Bud break is about two weeks earlier than normal this year due to our mild and dry winter. We usually have about three weeks to sweat out a late frost but this year it will be more like five. Break out the Tums! Frost damages the tender shoots and can greatly reduce yields or completely eliminate the year’s crop. I will be checking the long range forecasts and computer models several times per day until May.

We irrigated more this winter than ever before. We think with our terroir, we need to keep the soil more moist year round to ensure vigorous growth during the heat and lack of humidity in May and June. This is the period when the canopy develops which shades the grapes, keeps them cooler, and allows us to hang the grapes longer. Hang time relates directly to the development of what Peggy calls our “big ass reds!”.

We are currently clearing the vineyard of winter weeds and beginning our nutrient and soil amendment programs to make sure the plants have food to grow and produce great grapes. We will be adding elements like phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, gypsum, and zinc to the soil to maintain balance and plant nutrition.

We are also preparing to plant about 1,000 new plants that will be filling in skips in the vineyard. The baby grape plants will be arriving in mid-April and planted immediately.

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