Spring is nearly here, which means exciting changes are afoot in both the winery and the vineyards. In the winery during the winter there is not a whole lot to do as a hands-off producer. The wine sits quietly in barrels doing its thing, and that leaves time to get out of the winery and explore other projects. Vineyard manager David was kind enough to leave a couple rows of the Chenin unpruned by his efficient crew so that I could come up and play in the vineyards. If you love physical work, pruning is play, but if not...
These vines are about 20 years old, and Chenin blanc is notoriously vigorous. This makes for very difficult work, as the canes are much thicker and harder to cut through with shears. The canes are also quite tangled up in the trellis, which makes them harder to pull out. Luckily I had my friend Jordy with me to help, because it took us 10 hours to complete two very long rows!
I'm so grateful to be working with a vineyard manager who lets winemakers come and get dirty in the vines. There is an all too common disconnect between vineyards and winemaking and it is up to us winemakers to change that by getting involved any way we can in the vineyards we source from.
Spring also means the Chenin will be bottled soon. I racked (moved) all the wine from barrel to tank, and it is now sitting in tank where the remaining solids will settle out before bottling. Carlos helped me clean the tank for the Chenin while I racked and cleaned barrels.
Until next time!