Friday, March 13, 2015

I'm a fan.

I love this portable wind machine that showed up in the Opus One vineyard last week; the fan one day, the propane tank the next.  The vast majority of vineyards around the Napa Valley have been pruned now and vineyard-vistas are greening up as leaves and shoots (white varietals) are appearing atop vines as a fuzzy, pale green haze.
The Opus One vineyard is, of course, Cabernet sauvignon - an expensive crop that needs to be protected from frost.  With the possible threat of frosty spring mornings just around the corner, vineyard managers up and down the valley are making sure that frost protection means are in place, and in working order. Vineyard managers that employ overhead sprinklers for frost protection have been checking that their sprinkler systems will indeed sprinkle when called upon to do so, (as evidenced by the number of vineyards that have been getting a good sprinkler-dousing the past couple of weeks).
I finished pruning the Syrah today, making my spur and cane selections that is, I haven't tied them all down yet.  The Syrah vines are very enthused which makes tying the canes down difficult.  It also means that those little buds will be susceptible to frost damage if we have a chilly morning.  My fingers are crossed because I don't have a portable wind machine.
On another note, this past Wednesday's Napa Valley Register reported that more than 400 concerned citizens had showed up at a joint meeting of the Napa City Board of Supervisors and the Napa County Planning Commission (on Tuesday 10th March).  What are they concerned about? Vintners, growers and average folk are concerned about the unfettered growth of wineries within the agricultural preserve, wineries that "are becoming glitzy event centers that overshadow agriculture, generate too much traffic and use too much groundwater."  A group of  growers and vintners, notably Andy Beckstoffer and Dennis Groth, submitted a joint letter (which I'm sure got a frosty reception from the supervisors), asking the county to enforce regulations set in place under the 1990 Winery Definition Ordinance.  Problem is, the county repeatedly grants variances to new wineries to get around the laws the county itself instituted to protect the agricultural preserve. It's a highly contentious issue and I'm sure that a huge flap is fermenting.  Stay tuned.


Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: I'm sure you've heard or seen the movie "A Walk In The Clouds" (a chick flick which won my heart as character became mostly lost in Hollywood); well, every time I see something like this sprinkler fan I remember those 'butterfly' fans used in that movie; I think someone said vintners never really did use them; I like to think they did!

As for not following their own rules, ordinances, or laws, there is this word: guile, /ɡīl/ noun,
sly or cunning intelligence.

Another thought I have on that is: "For the love of money is the root of all evil. . ."

Other than those two I don't have much to say!

Thud said...

Two things, firstly...I do love opus one and will furore effect my vimto winery?

Vinogirl said...

NHW: That was filmed up at Mayacamas Vineyards...perhaps you can visit the winery this summer :)
Don't get me started on politicians!

Thud: Just bumped into someone who works at Opus when I was walking V2 this afternoon...Opus is now $245 a bottle (Overture is $115). If you have enough money to buy Opus One, you'll have enough money to 'sell' local politicians on your Vimto winery idea :)

Thomas said...

Is that fan natural viticulture or interventionist?

VG: I wrote in my weekly column about the fight over quality of life in Napa. I ended the column by saying, "we don't have this problem in the Finger Lakes--yet."

Vinogirl said...

The "yet" is now in Napa...the promise of more tax revenue is impossible for local politicians to resist, so they issue variance after variance.