Our vines go through an annual cycle that starts in early Spring (May) with bud break and ends in autumn (October) with the leaf fall. All of our farming efforts are geared towards producing grapes of great structure.
Winter pruning is performed while the vines are dormant to control crop size. Our pruning technique utilizes a bilateral cordon system with a short trunk and 2 permanent branches (cordons), which are trained along a wire on both sides of the vine. The cordon bears a number of spears which we prune annually to remove the previous year’s fruiting canes (or spurs). Because grapes are only produced on shoots growing from one-year-old canes, healthy new canes must be produced each year. By pruning the canes, we reduce the number of buds that will produce grapes on each of our vines resulting in more intense fruit.
In the spring our vineyards experience robust growth. Our canopy management program ensures that overhanging foliage is trimmed only on the east side of each row of our vines. This enables our grapes to capture maximum morning sun, while shading them from the excessive heat of the Uco Valley’s intensely hot afternoons.
After bud break, our trained vineyard team carefully performs a green harvest. This enables us to remove grape clusters that were poorly positioned relative to the sun or that have simply not ripened to our expectations. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of fruit on each vine so the remaining grape clusters receive maximum energy from the soil.
Each vine consumes a certain level of water that is required to carry out key processes. Throughout the growing season, the vines constantly require water due to continuous evaporation. Our approach is to deliver minimal levels of water through our irrigation system. This forces the vines to struggle to find water by growing roots much deeper into the alluvial soil. This process effectively stresses each vine, which in turn increases the rate of sugar accumulation in the grapes as well as key compounds that produce intense color and aroma.