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    Update all the way to 2021

    We’ve been growing these Gewurztraminer wine grapes since they were planted in 2006 – hard to believe its been 16 years! Lots has happened – mostly ALOT of learning!

    When the State changed its licensing laws we had to surrender our Series 13 Domestic Farm Winery license because we did not have at least 5 acres under vines. That meant we thus would have HAD to make our own wine on site. For one acre of grapes it wasn’t worth the expense of a) building a winery and equipping it, and b) I am not a wine maker; I’m a wine-grower. So at this stage we are down to our very last cases of Painted Lady Vineyard wines (2016 and 2017) and will continue to share those with friends and family until, alas, they are gone. Our winemaker Eric Glomski, of Page Springs Cellars, now buys our grapes and make the wine for his own business. It is made at PSC and is bottled there and the label is theirs, with a nice nod to us in the description on the bottle label.

    At first I was actually quite depressed! But then I figured I would have more time to focus on growing the best grapes possible, and I’d have to be grateful for that – which I am. Hours and hours of labor with very little financial return, yes; but for me – for us – its not all about money. I get to spend those hours and hours outside in the fresh air; I get to try to outsmart the frost and the deer from destroying and/or ‘pruning’ the vines; and I get to do about a million squats over the growing season and keep in relatively good shape! And listening to the sounds of nature is what I love.

    The 2021 growing season had its challenges, with a very late frost taking out about one third of the new growing shoots and their newly forming inflorescence. That meant no grapes from those shoots. At about the same time a family of deer found much-needed lovely soft, juicy material to munch on, and in their survival mode they could’ve decimated the vineyard in no time. So in late May I feverishly put up the bird nets to stop the deer from destroying the young canes. That was very effective, but now means it is a mess trying to remove the nets, post harvest, as there is so much growth coming through the nets. But actually, having seen a herd of 10 deer the other day, I think I will not even take the nets down at all, and nip the deers’ ideas of a feast at the Painted Lady Vineyard in the bud!

    So the plan now is to top prune in early February, thus cleaning up the vines and clipping tendrils from the nets, and then doing the main cane pruning as I always do, early April. The new shoots will thus be protected by the nets from the very beginning of growth! It WILL mean much more hands-on canopy management for me, but I have to ask myself, “Do you want grapes, or not?” Yes I do! Stay tuned.