Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The vines are thriving...

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening among the vines in our Petit Verdot vineyard high in the hills on the east side of Napa Valley. The vines are growing very rapidly right now - and the grapes can be seen in their smallest state - no bigger than 2 or 3 millimeters in size. They are clustered in bunches below the large mature leaves. There are also dozens of new tiny leaves on each vine, unfolding as the vines push toward the sky.

Today the vines are being tucked between the trellis wires to keep the vines reaching ever higher without bending to the ground under their own weight. Petit Verdot loves sunlight and higher temperatures...and this eastern-facing hillside vineyard is the perfect spot for this stunningly beautiful vineyard.

The warm afternoon winds sweep across the vines during the ripening period and do a great job of keeping the fruit dry and healthy. The dryer the air is, the more moisture is lost through evaporation. This helps to create great concentration of flavor and richness in the grapes.

As we get closer to harvest, we will see the grapes grow from their tiny bead-like state...into large green berries. In August, they will start to turn black and ripen with sugar.

Keep checking back with us (and follow VELLUM on to hear the latest updates on the 2010 VELLUM vintage.


Jeff Mathy, Proprietor



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