Around the Vine



Year 2

It’s been about 6 months since our last post.  Here’s a progress update and a short term road map. We are now a fully-licensed winery.  We received our federal license in December 2015 and our license from the Commonwealth of Virginia in January 2016.  Yippee.  We won’t be able to produce wine from our own fruit this year because our first usable harvest will be, God willing, in 2017. Not to despair.  We leased small portions of a nearby vineyard and expect to harvest a modest amount of grapes for winemaking this year, beginning in late August to early September and through late October.  Our harvest (and wines) will include Viognier, Petit Manseng, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot.  We hope...

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We made it through Season 1; We’re Preparing for the (Interim) Winery

It’s been awhile since our last posting to this blog (around July 2015).  We’ve been pretty busy; sorry for taking so long. We have a little down time now around the holidays so let’s catch you up. The big news is we got through our first growing season successfully.  We’ve just completed our initial vine inventory (10000+) and most of the little guys had a very good year (excluding the Viognier, the subject of an earlier post).  We’ll be placing an order for some new plantings to expand the vineyard a smidgeon and for some replacement vines, but, all in all, we came through pretty well.  We even got a little (very little) fruit this year (from our Sauvignon Blanc vines...

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Setbacks and Opportunities

We planted our vines over 3 ½ days in mid-May 2015.  We discovered in late June 2015, about 6 weeks after planting, that almost 1200 of our Viognier vines (two rootstocks and two clones) did not “break bud” (that is, leaf out).  We had the same problem with our other varieties but on a very small scale, which is expected. On closer examination with our vineyard consultant, Sebastien Marquet, we discovered the grafted scion on the Viognier vines, in most cases, was dead.  (Most all vinifera wine grape vines are grafted.   The top, fruit-bearing portion of the vine, e.g., Chardonnay, is grafted onto a rootstock, typically an American native rootstock, in order to avoid the American root louse disease, phylloxera, which...

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Lots of Spending and Building

It’s been quite a while since we posted on our vineyard progress.  We’ve been busy and  here goes: We’ve finished clearing our land and the mountain views are so nice. Our fields are ready for planting and are “resting” for the winter.  We’ve ripped the soil to about 36″ to remove remaining tree roots, rock, and other debris, added a host of soil amendments after property wide soil tests, and planted and mulched permanent grass seed to control erosion.  We also erected some serious erosion controls, including silt fence, earth berms, rock check dams, and multiple silt ponds.  These ponds are strategically located at natural drainage points on the property and they help prevent water and topsoil from leaving our property....

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