Sunday, October 07, 2012


At seemingly the same rate that the sugar in Vinoland's grapes is increasing, the local avian population are increasingly looking fat and happy.  But the realisation that the number of grape clusters available to Vinomaker, to make into wine, is going down at almost the same pace that the °Brix in the grapes is going up, is not actually my eureka moment.
No one will remember, but back at the beginning of 2011 I had a viticultural epiphany.  I decided I would focus all my pruning know-how towards altering the relative maturation rate of Vinoland's Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon (CS).  I planned to do this by flipping the order of pruning the CS with that of the Syrah.  I had no idea at that point that 2011 would turn out to be such a peculiarly cool year in which to try such an experiment.  Roll on 2012.
This year has been the perfect growing season thus far - and it's nearly at an end.  The past two weeks of sugar sampling has revealed a not before seen phenomenon in Vinoland: the °Brix in the CS is ahead of that in the Syrah.  Today saw 24.2 °B in the CS and only 23.4 °B in the Syrah - the Syrah that is usually ready to harvest at least two weeks prior to the CS. Both grape varieties had progressed exactly 2 °B since this time last week.  Of course, sugar is not the only factor in determining when the fruit is ready to be harvested, but it is a very useful indicator.
So eureka!  Pruning a little earlier does indeed seem to bring about earlier phenological maturity.  At least it does in my mini Petri dish that is Vinoland.


NHwineman said...

I see the blue sky in those grapes!

About Last Weekend said...

Do the birds eat those squishy ones? Sounds like you are a scientist and a tastemaker

Craig Justice said...

Crazy weather down here in San Diego, dealing with massive heat waves, which have finally passed. I wonder if the birds have been migrating north, appetizers here in San Diego, dessert in Vinoland, just one giant progressive dinner? Alas, we are finished with harvest and crush, and my epiphany moment, having survived yesterday, is proof of the existence of guardian angels.

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Not as blue as Cabernet Sauvignon though.

ALW: The squishy one is starting to raisin, so extra sweet. We'll be picking on Saturday otherwise there will be none left to pick!

Craig: Maybe the birds have Learjets.
Never ceases to amaze me how much warmer it is down in your neck of the woods.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: In retrospect to your "This year (2012) has been the perfect growing season", you were 100% right; great CBs and vino-insight!!!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Thanks, but not so much "vino-insight" as just recognising great weather when one is in the midst of it :)