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Why we prune vines in different shapes - vineyard talk

Left to their own devices grape vines can grow to be 100 yards long in the wild. Like all vines they use ground formation, trees and other plants to climb up and find sun or along the ground to spread out. The trunk of a cultivated vine is the result of extensive pruning. Some of the trellis systems even look like ballerinas!

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Water, flooding and vines

What about all this rain the past months and your vines? That is a question I have been getting a lot lately. Since October we have had 68 inches of rain, which is over 50% more than our normal rainfall. As a matter of fact northern California is now officially drought free. But there are also consequences such as erosion and damaged vines.

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Vineyard tour - a winemaker's treat to herself

A big treat for me, any time of the year, is to walk through our vineyards and the surrounding landscape of forests and fields. Right now the small embryos of grape clusters have been through bloom but are still hard and green. This time of the year the bees are busy and patches of flowers have come alive, each with a humming chorus. Especially the lavender turns the bees just crazy and they seem drunk as they plunge in. Gnarly vines, wild turkeys, a fox, grape trucks and fermenting fruit are some of the things I encounter depending on the season.

Written by Katarina at West Wines
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Post-Harvest Season in Sonoma Wine Country

Harvest is over and it was a fast and furious one this year. It started earlier than ever and we were done with Cabernet Sauvignon at the end of September which is record early. Now we are waiting to see what El Nino will bring. But before that we have the fun "Wine and Food Affair" festival and we are introducing a new wine and a special recipe to go along.

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Cover crops in bloom in Dry Creek Valley vineyards

Pretty colors light up our vineyards right now. The winter cover crops are sprouting after the rains in December. Yellow mustard, green barley, orange calendula cover the space between the rows of vines. The plants are not only beautiful but they also play a big role in creating the best grapes possible for our wines. There are so many ways in which they contribute.

Written by Katarina at West Wines