Thursday, February 16, 2012

A word from a friendly, local winemaker.

It is not often that a winemaker will take time out of their busy, wine-filled day to address the idle inquisitiveness of a nosy blogger, in this case me.  But, that is just exactly what Chris Phelps, winemaker at Swanson Vineyards, did when I inquired as to why they had decided to rip out Swanson's Pinot grigio vines on the Oakville Crossroad.  Here is his reply in its entirety:

Dear Vinogirl,
Alas, we were disheartened, as well, to realize we had no choice but to pull some of the Pinot Grigio vines in our Oakville Vineyard.
Leafroll virus had taken a serious toll on the vines,  dropping yield down to an unsustainable 1.25 tons per acre, and preventing the crop from fully ripening.
We hope that your Pinot Grigio yields remain high, or at least sustainable, and may your vines continue to be virus-free and live forever!
We do remain dedicated to producing Pinot Grigio, in spite of the fact that the variety is notoriously low-yielding.
Thank you for your concern, and please do let us know if you have more questions.
Chris Phelps.

So, the culprit was leafroll virus, curses! 
Seeing as I can't do anything about it I have decided to open a bottle of 2009 Swanson Pinot grigio (a staple in Vinoland) to toast the memory of those grand old vines in Oakville.  And, instead of me waxing lyrical about the virtues of the wine in hand, I suggest you watch this clip of Mr. Phelps describing his own handiwork.
Thanks Chris.  


Thud said...

What a nice chap.

Vinogirl said...

Yes, it was very nice of him to take the time to explain what was going on in the vineyard.