Spring is here, and our Matchbook Estate Vineyards are thriving! At this time of year, we perform the second stage of canopy management when the threat of frost has passed. We go through the vineyard, row by row and vine by vine to remove volunteer shoots. This creates a balanced fruit area that will produce the highest quality grapes. This practice is called shoot thinning. Timing is critical for this work because if it is done too early, we lose the protective thermal blanket that the volunteer shoots provide for the vine’s fruit-producing shoots.
“We are looking for a fist width between vine spurs to lower yields and increase flavor concentration. Shoot thinning is important because it creates a uniform fruit zone and allows consistent sunlight into the canopy,” said Greg Giguiere, Director of Vineyard Operations.
Shoot thinning will give the grape clusters just the right amount of space, sunlight, nutrients and ventilation they need as we progress through the 2018 growing season.
Matchbook Vineyards are in bloom! The Chardonnay vines were the first to flower and now the other varietals are following suit. Bloom is an important part of the growing season for a grapevine because each part of the flower has the potential be fertilized and become a grape.
“Flowering is an exciting time of year in the vineyard, as it is the first look at this year’s grape crop,” said Greg Giguiere, Director of Vineyard Operations. “2018 bloom is on the early side, but all looks great. We are happy with the number of flowers and the weather has been favorable at this critical stage in the growing season.”
Spring Flowering Fun Facts:
Grapevine flowers are called “perfect flowers” because they self-pollinate.
Grapevine flowers are fragrant and can fill the vineyard with pleasing aromas of spring flowers, perfume and fresh fruit.
Joey Casco aka “The Wine Stalker” named the 2016 Matchbook Chardonnay his Wine of the Month for May 2018!
We love Joey’s straight-forward and knowledgeable wine reviews. Following is an excerpt from his review of the Matchbook 2016 “Old Head” Chardonnay.
“The color of the wine is a straw yellow. The first thing I get on the nose is toasty oak, followed by Bullseye caramel candy, melons, and pears. In the mouth it’s true to form with a fuller body than most Chardonnays in its price range, but it also has a brighter acidity than previous vintages and it’s even added a touch of sweetness. There’s flavors of pineapple, lemon custard, sweetened pear juice, and vanilla. Then it finishes with lemon custard and vanilla.
Still rockin’ it, still a great deal, still a recommendation. Love it!”
Want to read more? Click here for the full review.
It’s officially Spring when the vineyards begin to sprout leaves and we start tearing them off. This labor intensive, very important step is called crown suckering where surplus shoots are removed from the vine’s cordon. As John Giguiere explains in the video, this is the first step in the season’s canopy management. Removing these unwanted shoots improves quality by reducing the density of the canopy and balancing the season’s crop level.