Spring at Shadow Ranch
When it comes to the vineyards, spring is a beautiful time of year. Poppies and tulips are blooming between the rows, the vines are waking up, and the buds are bursting to break. Just as spring is the season of new growth, it is also the season to get to work. Spring into Sam’s world and see what he’s up to in the vineyards!
Pruning & Suckering
Precise pruning is one of the most fundamental vineyard tasks and is essential for the upcoming harvest as it helps to regulate growth, productivity, and the quality of the fruit. But pruning goes beyond the current harvest—excessive productivity may seem like a great thing, but it can cut down on the lifespan of the grapevine and quality of the fruit. Pruning is a balancing act between grape production and ensuring that the new growth will replace older, lignified wood.
As the days warm up and the shoots begin to grow rapidly, it’s important to revisit the vines for suckering. Like all living things, grapes need plenty of light and oxygen. Suckering removes the shoots that do not produce fruit and helps determine the shape of the vine, preparing it for summer maintenance. The goal is to avoid overly packed foliage and to cut down on canopy management in the coming months.
Planting & Replanting
After the snow melts in the early spring, the soil temperatures in the vineyards finally begin to warm up. This is the time to plant new vines, allowing them to acclimate and get their roots settled before the growing season. Prior to planting, these vines are typically dormant, just beginning to wake up in the sun and begin bud break after they are planted. In addition to expanding vineyard acreage, new vines may be used to replace older vines that aren’t producing or have died. More fruit production = more wine for you to uncork!
Along with all the excitement in the vineyard, there are exciting things happening in the winery, too! Our 2nd Quarter Wine Club release is available for pickup now and we have two exciting wines to share with you. First, our 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, a wine that is quintessentially spring. White peach and grapefruit notes jump out of the glass while the fresh, juicy, and vibrant qualities make it the perfect pairing for our gorgonzola and walnut stuffed endive appetizer. Secondly, you’ll be enjoying the 2016 Grenache with ripe cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and subtle hints of white pepper. The soft tannin and lush acid make it a match for some chorizo, Manchego, and Spanish olive skewers!
Want to try these pairings yourself? Join us for our 2nd Quarter Food Pairing on May 26th from noon - 4! If you’re not a club member now, don’t miss out on our 3rd Quarter release—check out our 5 O’clock Shadow club options here. Cheers to the spring season!