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Annual Notebook Back to Annual Notebook Index
Lawrence Dunham Vineyards Notebook 2010

December 2010
We had the first really hard freeze on December 10th. I think the vines were prepared for it this year. There is still no
significant rain or snowfall. The Grenache and Petite Sirah have been malolactic fermentation inoculated. We counted
over 1,200 plants that have died, mostly due to fall 2009 freeze. We had thought they might have survived and were
not replanted in the spring. I am searching for grape stock to plant in April.

November 2010
Fall weather has been temperate but we have had some near freezing temperatures mid-month. We are cutting back
on water to promote dormancy. Late fall/winter has been quite dry. The fermentation process is winding down.

October 2010
Fermentation is going slowly but still underway. Vineyard is starting to shut down. Had some cool weather, hopefully
the vines will go dormant before the first really cold weather unlike last year.

September 20 & 21, 2010
We picked 12 boxes of Petite Sirah on Monday and another three on Tuesday. We wanted to pick the whole place in
one day but a thunderstorm chased the picking crew out of the vineyard at 2 p.m. David Thomas and I processed the
entire harvest by ourselves and it was exhausting. While we wanted to get the whole place done in one day so we
only had to clean all of the equipment once (a three hour job) the thunderstorm was probably a blessing as I am not
sure we could have handled another four boxes on Monday.

At Rod Keeling’s we have had three or four people working the pad. It looks like we picked just a shade over three
tons per acre. Without the rot I think we would have had about 3.5 but it seems like there will always be something
standing between the perfect harvest and what we actually get. Year in and year out, I would be thrilled if we could
average 3 tons per acre. Brix was pretty consistent in high 27’s and pH in high threes and around 4. Petite Sirah was placed in 10 open top fermentation bins. We picked the remainder of the Syrah and Grenache, most of the fruit was
pretty beat up from insects. We have decided to segregate if from the rest of the Petite Sirah must. It is good to have
everything in for the year – they predict rain on the way.

We are still finding a few worms in the Viognier. They are not doing too much damage but we want to get rid of them
so they don’t become moths and lay more eggs. David Thomas seems to take quite a delight in offing them.

September 19, 2010
The brix shot up to 28 in just two days. We have learned something about the Petite Sirah that when it starts to get
close, it really moves fast. Not sure how much the leaf dropping influenced the rapid change but I am afraid the fruit
might be a little too ripe now.

September 17, 2010
It is still dry and breezy. Bunch rot is pretty much stopped. Brix are up to 25, pH at 3.64 and grapes are starting to
desiccate a bit. It won’t be long until harvest. Hopefully the dry weather will hold up.

September 15, 2010
The bunch rot on the Petite Sirah has been pretty well controlled. We de-leafed the plants by the grape clusters to
try to get them to dry out before picking. If we still have active rot on the clusters at the time of picking we will have
to drop the entire cluster. Still an odor in the vineyard but it is improving. We are supposed to get some dry air coming
in which should help. Yields still look pretty good even with a lot of damage from the rot. Grapes are at 24 brix, looking
for about 26.5. Seeds are still pretty green.

September 2010
Fruit is beginning to ripen quickly. The monsoon has pulled out for the last week and we have had 90 degree days
and mid-50 nights. Field tested berries on September 5th (3.55 ph and 23 brix). It is time to start watching closely
and start bunch testing and using the hydrometer.

Found some Tomato Horn Worms in the young Viognier. While starting to get used to them, they are still about the
nastiest life forms I have ever seen! Picking them off by hand, not wide spread enough to spray.

Migrating hummingbirds are back – need to hire staff to keep them fed! Tony began removing the grow tubes from
the Petite Sirah that is in its third season. Now that we have had our first fungus issues, we may have to re-evaluate
our grow tube protocols, either cutting them down or removing them earlier so the base of the plant can dry out
between rains. Viognier has come on strong, getting a lot of lignification. We should get some nice fruit next year
barring any weather issues. The rest of the non-fruit bearing plants look good too. Overall it is a good summer.
There are still a lot of skips we are going to need to fill especially in the Syrah.

Field tested Petite Sirah again on September 8th. It is still holding at 23 brix but pH has gone up a bit to 3.61. It has
been pretty cloudy this week with a good rain on September 6th. Forecast calls for a drying spell so should speed up
ripening. There is still quite a bit of green seeds out there.

August 2010
The rain really picked up this month dumping several days with multiple inches of rain. On August 7 I noticed that
several healthy plants, particularly in the Syrah, were just dropping dead. Looking at the vine near the base of the
graft, there was white fungus that actually detached the scion from the main stem. Sent pictures to Rod and we
identified it as a common fungus that most growers have had to deal with not just us. We sprayed with a fungicide
the entire vineyard and it was controlled. We have decided that we will do a preemptive fungicide spraying each year
around the beginning of the monsoon season when the vineyard starts to get wet. The fungus is now established in
the vineyard and there is no reason to expect that it won’t re-emerge when the conditions are right. This may have
been a problem for much longer than we realized.

We have not had any major bug problems except for wasps and bees this month. We have sprayed for the wasps
and bees two times. They have pretty much wiped out what little Syrah we have. It ripened earlier and became a
target because it is so sparse and unprotected. We counted all of the Syrah and Grenache plants that had fruit to
determine what to do with it. There were only a little over 100 plants out of 3,600 that had fruit – not enough to really
do anything with. So we have decided that we will pick any viable fruit when we pick the PS and mix them together.

The Petite Sirah looked great mid-month but for the first time we started to develop some bunch rot from all of the
rain. We sprayed lightly with Cerinade on August 20 with brix at about 16. As the fruit began to soften, the rot
continued along with a few more rains. There was a pretty pronounced smell mostly in the south side of the vineyard.
We finally had to do a heaving spraying of Cerinade on August 31 at 18.5 brix.

July 30, 2010

First half of July was pretty dry, very little monsoon weather action. The second half of the month has picked up a bit.
The vineyard has gotten about three inches in the last week. No major downpours or violent storms. Vineyard looks
great, good fruit set on Petite Sirah, I am guessing 3.5 tons per acre – we’ll see. Looks like a lot more fruit than last
year and we picked 2.25 tons per acre. David (Assistant to the Winemaker) and I did the first major training of the
Viognier. It is a little bit behind, but coming on strong. Saw evidence of Army worms, Skeletinizers, and some other
bug in vineyard on 7.29.10 and sprayed entire vineyard. Neighboring vineyards are reporting a lot more bug issues
this year. Don’t know why. Veraison is late this year, but has begun the middle of the month. Talked to folks over in
Napa and they are three weeks late and very nervous.

May 2, 2010
Not much damage to plants, a few brown spots but overall things look pretty good.

May 1, 2010
Neighbor Keeling Schaefer Vineyards winemaker Rod Keeling called at 1:30 a.m. and said it was down to 31°
at his place and he was going to battle stations, lighting fires, etc. It is still only 36° here amazingly. We are
just hanging out watching the temperature drop.

At 4 a.m. the temperature dropped very quickly to 30° and we went out and lit the fires. The fires were stoked
until sunrise about 6:15 a.m. A consistent breeze at about five mph was coming off the mountain from the northeast
all night so we focused our fires on the east and north sides of the Petite Sirah. Really not worth saving the rest of
the vineyard since so much is dead and the new plantings have not sprouted yet.

Temperature recovered pretty quickly, we had some ice in the vineyard and on vehicles but don’t think it stayed cold
enough for long enough to do a lot of damage. Rod Keeling, Keeling Schaefer Vineyards had a lot of damage and
many vineyards in Arizona got hit pretty hard. We were lucky or this is just a warmer spot, at least for that night.

April 30, 2010
Freeze expected tonight. Would be one of the latest on record for what that is worth. We have purchased a bunch of
diesel fuel, borrowed smudge pots from an orchard owner, and placed piles of mesquite logs all around the vineyard
to light if needed. Assistant to the winemaker is down here with me as well as Chiricahua Circle members Char and
Bill McCluskey. It is all hands on deck.

April 24, 2010
Came to the vineyard for a few days and attended Keeling Schaefer’s Bud Break party. We had our first (non-family,
good friend) visitors to Lawrence Dunham Vineyards. We gave them a tour and some barrel tastings. The crew is
working in the field.

April 17, 2010
The first Lawrence Dunham Vineyards e-newsletter was distributed to our mailing list.

April 15, 2010
We began planting new Viognier vines and replacement Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, and Petite Sirah skips which took
about 10 days. Planting went well. Lisa and Don assisted in the planting. Existing vines that survived the October
freeze have begun to bud out. We have had a cool spring so far – but worried.

April 4, 2010
Peggy and I took a fact finding trip to Santa Ynez wine country for a few days. We met with the winemakers from
Jaffurs, Stolpman, Carhartt, Fess Parker, Foxen, Epiphany Cellars, Cambria, Qupe, AuBon Climat, Zaca Mesa, and
Beckman. What a trip and we learned so much.

March 5, 2010
Weather has continued on the cool side. Valley temperatures have been below normal. Hopefully we will have a cool
next month or so to hold off bud break as long as possible. Field is all ready for replacement and new Viognier
planting.

February 27, 2010
Pruning completed. Parts of the vineyard look fine and others look totally wiped out. Winter has been fairly mild with
quite a bit of snow/rainfall. 4.25 inches recorded since January 1, 2010.

February 15, 2010
Completed pruning the Petite Sirah and it looked pretty good. Started on the Grenache and it was a disaster.
Most of the Lake County stock planted April 2009 was killed more than likely by the hard freeze at the end of
October 2009. After going through the entire vineyard, it looks like about 2,000 plants will need replacing.
Grenache was clearly the hardest hit but anything planted in April 2009 was impacted.

February 2, 2010
We launched the Lawrence Dunham Vineyards interim website and began to get people signed up for our mailing list.

January 13, 2010
Lawrence Dunham Vineyards conditional use permit was heard by the Cochise County Planning and Zoning
Commission and was approved; though not easily. There is snow in Chiricahua Mountains and the weather is great.


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