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Theo Smith
March 21, 2015 | Theo Smith

Vineyard Update 2015

Hello Everyone,

As spring approaches and the snow slowly melts, this is our cue to start hustling! The vineyard is waking up after being dormant for 4 long months and the work that needs to be done is vast and it must be done relatively quickly!

The race is on. 

The vines have to be tended to and trained for the best possible harvest. Sap is now flowing, buds are swelling and will soon start pushing out tiny green leaves.  We started pruning in February, cutting back much of last year’s growth.  The goal of pruning is to cut away as much the unnecessary, dead or diseased parts of the vine and replace it with solid, healthy fruit producing tissue which will eventually produce the high quality grapes this harvest that we really look for.     

Sitting at the edge of our seats this winter, we had one night at the end of February when the weather forecasters were predicting -6F for our area. Most varietals can withstand temperatures of -2F as long as they are some of the more hearty vines. 

We had to cross our fingers and take preventative measures. Spending two days on tractors with blades -not to dissimilar to those on a snow plow– we attempted to hill up the 6” of snow on the ground around the base of the vines.  This will at least insulate the basal part of the vine so if the upper portion dies we can still bring up some fresh shoots.  Fortunately the temperature only reached 1F, reinforcing the fact weathermen are only right 50% of the time.

They say the work of a farmer is never over and we can attest!  We planted our Glenway vineyard in 1998, and over the years trial and error has lead us to rip out and replant many of our vineyards.  Although costly, this ensures that we are now producing better wines from our sites now because of these viticulture choices. Every year we aim to produce better fruit and products, and every year we learn more and more about how to work with the terroir of Virginia—the weather and the land itself that we till. This is the exciting part of growing grapes in Virginia, we are just scratching the surface of our potential. 

Over the course of the summer and fall we will have effectively coach our vineyards into the shape that is needed for the incredible 2015 growing season and harvest we hope to have. We hope to see you over the course of the year where you can come, sip a glass and appreciate with us the fruits of this hard work and beautiful state.





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