Linden Update | July 2017
Most of you live in the area and have been experiencing our classic Mid-Atlantic summer. You may wonder how the vines are doing with the heat, humidity and lack of rain. The short answer is “fine”. The longer version is “it depends”.
The heat is making harvest look very early. This is generally good for the late ripening reds (Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot), but could be problematic for the whites. When white grapes ripen under warm conditions (i.e.typical early September weather) the wines may have less acidity and verve.
Humidity only bothers the winegrower, not the vines!
The lack of rain has been beneficial to the old vines whose roots are deep and able to find water. These vines look great. However, the young vines could use a drink. We don’t irrigate at Linden, so we’ve been extra meticulous with weeding and mowing in order to reduce competition. If we don’t get a good rain in the next week or so we may have to make another pass at cluster thinning so as not to stress the young vines by asking them to ripen more grapes than they are able to.
The two photos below show a vine before and after cluster thinning. This was done a few weeks ago and is standard practice for any quality oriented winegrower. If a vine becomes drought stressed, it may be too taxed to ripen a normal crop. Additional clusters would need to be removed.
Rain dances welcome.