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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Best of North Coast redux

Last year we were fortunate enough to receive "Best of North Coast" at the California state fair for our Primitivo and Barbera. This year, we won it for our Sangiovese and Primitivo - and we are happy with that. If anyone is in Sacramento Thursday, we will be pouring at the Grape and Gourmet fair event that night. No double gold yet, but we are working up toward it.

On the viticultural side, if you have ever wondered what dormant grapevines look like when they start waking up - here you go. Those little yellow buds are new signs of life on the grafted Sangiovese scion that is plugged into 110R rootstock. Funny to think that 200 vines are only half filling a small bucket, but here they are, yawning and waking up. These are VCR (Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo) 6 clones, known as the Brunello clone, which means that Rauscedo, who has been selecting and propagating clones for thirty years in Italy, created this selection, and Nova Vine in Santa Rosa (or their growing grounds in Dunnigan) put the two parts together with some love and care.
Their home will be in here. Remember that project I was mentioning, removing 56 walnut trees for an acre and a half to plant? I know it sounds like nothing, but two old guys doing all the work can really drag it out. We put up the drip lines today, and are about two days away from digging holes and starting to plug in vines.

This year's growth has been ridiculous. Shoots that should be three feet long are eight, but crop is moderate. We need to remove laterals to open up the inner canopy, but in general everything looks extremely promising - like I am excited promising. Very dry year here, but as long as the heat stays moderate, this should be really a great year. I guess if anything goes wrong it will be our fault, unlike like last year's double frost and lack of tank heating.

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