Vineyard Updates and Sustainable Thinking

 

Sustainable Farming - Halter Ranch Vineyard

In Row Tilling

 

Spring is upon us!  Oak trees are in bloom, lupins now grace our upper hillsides, and other flowers have begun to peek around the edges of the ranch.  In the vineyard we are through primary pruning with the exception of Block 5 Syrah, Block 26 Sauvignon Blanc, and Block 35 Viognier which we will leave partially pruned with a mind toward mitigating potential damage from late frost.

In preparation for budbreak, which has already started at some of the higher elevation sites throughout the vineyard, we’ve begun mowing and discing under the cover crop to provide a healthy injection of water and nutrients for the awakening vines. Additionally we continue our program of in-row tilling (covered last month on the blog here) to mitigate competitive (weed) growth in the immediate vicinity of the vines where the discs and mower do not reach.  These practices allow for the elimination of applied fertilizers and weed control.  The significance of this minimalist approach cannot be overstated in its effect on the health of the vineyard and the quality of resulting wines.  It is the habit of grapes to exhibit the various unique qualities of the site on which they are grown (see terroir) and it follows that any manipulation of that site has the potential to alter for good or ill, the character of the resulting wine.

For more on sustainability and sustainable farming check out SIPcertified.org



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