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.
As winter begins to warm to spring, the Matchbook vineyards are awakening and showing the first signs of the 2018 vintage. Warmer temperatures over the last few weeks combined with moist soils triggered the vine sap to flow, a phenomenon called “bleeding,” by our Director of Vineyard Operations, Greg Giguiere. The flowing sap pushed out the first small buds in our Chardonnay vineyard this week. These small, fuzzy leaves contain all the components of the upcoming growing season – from the shoots and canopies to the clusters and grapes.
The 2018 Matchbook Vineyard bud break looks very promising. It was on the early side of normal with tight buds that are balanced and uniform.
Cheers to a fantastic 2018 growing season and fruitful harvest!
George Washington said “Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, and most noble employment of man.” Although times, and farming, have changed, today we would like to recognize and thank all farmers, and our wine grape farmers in particular, as part of National Farmers Day. Especially as so many of our farmers and neighbors in Northern California are battling historically devastating wild fires.
As 5th generation farmers, the Giguiere family understands the unique connection a farmer has with the land, mother-nature and their grapes. We’d like to believe our wines show the unique and delicate relationship between vine, climate and soil.
Some fun facts from Farmers Feeding the World organization:
Agriculture employs more than 24 million American workers (17% of the total U.S. work force).
Today’s American farmer feeds about 155 people worldwide. In 1960, that number was 25.8.
Harvest will be here soon and we have started sugar sampling. Our winemaking and vineyard teams are tasting and testing our vineyard blocks regularly. The goal of sugar sampling is to determine if the grapes have reached optimal ripeness and are ready to be harvested. #harvest2017#matchbookwines
Did you know all wine grape varietals start out green? Veraison occurs when the berries change from green to their harvest color. Thank you to Winemaker, Dan Cederquist, who snapped this photo while walking our Matchbook Tempranillo Vineyard. Harvest will be here soon!