There is a lot of talk about how wine quality is determined in the vineyard. That is true to a point. Its maximum quality potential is determined in the vineyard. With the same fruit, a skilled winemaker will always make better wine than the unskilled winemaker. But the real task for all of us that are concerned with quality is to do the best job we can with the plot of vines that we grow. For top quality that means a lot of work on foot and by hand. It is monotonous and tedious. But it is the only way to produce high quality wine in any region. Wayne and I and a couple of other folks have been working on this for the last month, and we will continue to do so all the way through harvest. It is a labor of love and a privlege to do this for a living. Thank you for your interest in our wines!
Our warm winter prodded our vines into one of the earliest bud breaks I can remember. As of April 1, Grenache, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah and Tannat are all showing green to some extent. This is about 10 days early for these varieties. I’ve been behind on pruning this year, which has turned out to be a good thing. Delayed pruning is a good tool to retard bud break. Even so, we will gain only a few days at best. For all the growers in Arizona, this will be a long, tense April. The Sonoita area won’t breathe easily until May 1.
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