Technical Vineyard Report
by Viticulturalist, Mayacamas Olds
The covercrop is primarily composed of Filaree, Minors Lettuce, Common Chickweed, Persian Speedwell, Mallow, Common Groundsel, some Bur Clover, oats and Calendula. Many of the plants are already blooming and seed will be set in some cases early. The “covercrop” is lush and performing well. It will produce a good amount of biomass for the soil.
Sheep have been brought in to help control covercrop plants. With the help of a herding dog, they move through the vineyard “mowing” down the lush covercrop. The blocks the sheep have been in, look really good for the most part. They are not eating much of the Calendula, but they seem to be doing a really nice job of getting the cover crop down. This is great for frost protection issues.
The sheep are getting very fat off of the covercrop and both Greg and I think they have grown significantly in the time they have been on-site. I walked carefully around the block they were in and saw no damage to the vines from any attempt to eat the swelling buds or canes.
The pruning crew has finished pruning and tying the Counoise, Grenache, Syrah. and Mourvedre. Thus, everything has been done except for the Viogner. The Viogner buds have begun to swell and crack. The weather is suppose to be cool and wet through next week. I would like to see the pruning held off until the end of next week to help with frost issues, and delay bud break as much as possible.
The pruning took a little long than we expected due to the number of cuts each plant is requiring and in the case of the Mourvedre, the extreme vigor. The lower vigor sections go quicker and the more vigorous and difficult plants are a little more intensive.
The Mourvedre buds are swelling, as is the Syrah. The Grenache has some cracking as well as bud swell. It is time to start thinking about the frost control system and the first sprays of the season.
In addition to the sheep, we have talked about Owl, Bluebird and Swallow boxes. Associate Winemaker, Greg Stach, is working on the habitat boxes.
The vineyard is full of blackbirds, some black headed finches and sparrows and all sorts of insects. Landmark has the most activity I have seen insect wise in the last week. There are a lot of Ladybugs all over, Mosquito Hawks, Hoverflies, Mosquitoes and a variety of flies and some fruit flies.
For more pictures of winter pruning and sheep, visit our website Photo Gallery.
|Mike Colhoun, Proprietor|