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

May, 2012

The remainder of the winter season did not provide any harsh weather conditions – ah but then the spring.

We pruned the vineyard in February and we had a scare right after bud break the first week in April. Temperature was down to 31 degrees but only for a short time.

Most of the buds were not exposed yet so we had very little damage.
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Curt in the vineyard
April 14 was another story. We reached 30 degrees for several hours and had some freeze damage to parts of the vineyard. We are estimating about 10% crop damage. While we never want to have these types of events, it sure could have been worse.

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Minor frost damage of vines and grape buds
We sprayed the vineyard with potassium a couple of days before the anticipated cold weather to help fortify the buds against freezing. The plants typically have a potassium deficiency early in the growing season and we try to help them along.

We’ll probably never know the level of impact this had but it feels good to do something proactive instead of being at the total mercy of the weather!
We are hoping that the rest of April and early May will cooperate and be warm and sunny. We would also like to bid adieu to La Nina as we have had freeze damage each year we have been in operation.

In the midst of monitoring all of the weather activity, our well pump gave out and needed to be replaced. We were out of commission for three days. While you never want to spend a bunch of money, it may have been a blessing.

First, it didn’t happen in June or July where just being without water for a few days can have negative impacts. We also had not planted our baby grapes yet (which need watering often upon planting). We also discovered that our new well pump has almost doubled our gallons per minute capacity which may allow us to forego installation of a new well to service the rest of the vineyard yet to be planted.

I’d like to thank Flanders Contracting for coming to the rescue so quickly and getting our irrigation system back on line with minimal interruption! We would never make it without our good friends and reliable and professional service providers.

The established plants are budded and leafed out and the vineyard looks beautiful with the vibrant greens of spring. The new vineyard site is ready to go for planting. As you read this, we should be finishing up.

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