A Chill January Morning Among the Vines


Window Melt

Vines through icy window


A different sort of beauty sprouts when the vines are dormant.  Cover crops create a green blanket under grey vines and the awakening vineyard is often dusted with frost as we arrive in the morning.  This year’s cover crop is composed of barley, legumes, and wildflowers that could use some additional rainfall for nutrient uptake…hint hint sky… 


Morning Mist and Coots among the vines

Cool mist and waterfowl on the pond


A cool mist hangs over the water as the frost lifts in the morning sun.  Though coots are the most consistent occupants on the pond this time of year, it is possible to catch a range of ducks and smaller waterfowl in and around its edge in the early morning.


Web Footed Trio - Vines

A trio of coots


Three web footed fowl circle while unintentionally posing near the deeper portion of the pond.  The rising edges as a result of recent rainfall toward the end of have set our little rowboat adrift.  The birds don’t seem to mind this development, using it as a strategic shield against our camera.


Pond and Plantings - Vines

Looking northeast over the pond


Zoomed out to catch a view of hillside plantings across Las Tablas Creek, this has likely become somewhat a familiar perspective on the pond.  Somehow it always seems an appropriate addition to our photographic posts.


Winter in the Beneficial Garden

Frost over a beneficial garden


Like the vineyard, our beneficial gardens are mostly dormant during winter time.  The plants that are awake are in a minimal state due to nightly frigidity.  The buzz of insects is at an absolute minimum this time of year as they wait for spring warmth and hatching.


Green and Blue - Vines

Cover crop green and sky blue


The angle of this perch imposes an somewhat forced perspective on the scene.  While they remain absent from this particular post, this is an excellent time of year to catch sight of raptors in general and owls in particular.  Though they blend almost perfectly among the branches, the lack of significant leaf cover makes it possible to pick them out if one is quiet and careful.  Keep an eye on the HRV facebook page to catch a glimpse when we catch a glimpse.


Frigid Leaf - Vines

Frost chills while the sun rises


Frost still hangs on leaves not yet exposed to the rising sun.  The nightly process of freeze and melt can be felt through the soles of our shoes–harder, crisper ground in the shadow, softer, more moist ground in the light.


Weather Worn Stone - Vines

One portion of a limestone puzzle


Scars on this rock exhibit the tendency of limestone to crack under the various pressures of weather and time.  Though brittle, this compressed seabed is excellent for the quality of our grapes.  Limestone holds water quite well, minimizing the need for irrigation, while at the same time forcing the vines to dig in deep and seek out deep troves of nutrient rich moisture.


Oak Shadow - Vines

Pretty gnarled oak


Though a bit naked looking when leafless, this particular oak is one of the most picturesque on the property.  Nestled among the various division of Block 52 (specifically between 52C Picpoul Blanc and 52G Mourvedre) in the northeast portion of the vineyard, it seems to beg a photograph from every angle.


Winery in Full - Vines


As vines and trees begin to mature around it, the winery seems to nestle itself even more comfortably against the hillside.  Our tour program is in full swing so if you have not yet taken the opportunity to make a visit, the time is ripe! Scheduled tours are at 11am and 1pm on weekends, also available by appointment during the week. Questions?  Call 805.226.9455, or shoot an email to info@halterranch.com

Cheers and a beautifully happy Monday to all!




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