After a cool winter and moderate spring, sunny skies and warmer temperatures have staked claim across the Valley. This summery foundation has moved vines into the bloom phase. Unlike many flowering plants, which rely on outside sources, like insects, for pollination, grapevines are hermaphroditic and self-pollinating. The calyptra, a protective cap, sits atop the flowers. When ready, the calyptra is shed, exposing the pistols to pollen so fertilization can occur.

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I am learning just how influential Morgaen Lee’s landscape is on the grapes that eventually become wine. Shadows cast by the valley’s bordering hills dictate direct sun exposure, while vines growing up the hillside are affected by temperature.

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Temperatures in Rutherford are currently and forecasted in the mid 90’s to mid ’80’s for the next 10 days, so we’ll see the fruit come around nicely. We expect to make the call during the above dates and dealing with Mother Nature is a moving target – so we won’t have a firm date until about 48-72 hours out.
Above are a few images from our yesterday’s visit to G3. You’ll notice the canopy is just starting to break down. The “yellowing” of the leaves makes photosynthesis less efficient, which is what we want at this stage.

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Start your engine! On the heels of fantastic 2012 and 2013 vintages, 2014 has been a near perfect growing season as well. We’re going for the three-peat here. Temperatures in Yountville are forecasted in the low to mid 80’s for the next 10 days, which is perfect for us and the picking crews. We expect to make the call the week of August 25th-29th and will send another update as we approach.

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