Journal | October 15, 2018
This fall’s harvest has very quickly become a distant memory. We are looking forward now. Posts and trellising are being installed for a small planting of Cabernet Sauvignon. This will be the final block to be planted in Linden’s ten-year vineyard re-organization plan.
Just as one decade long plan comes to an end, another one is starting to evolve: a climate change experimental vineyard. I’ve been growing vines on this farm for over thirty years. Just as great progress has been made in matching variety to site conditions, the climate variable is changing. It is now evident that we need to stay ahead of these changes by establishing small trial plantings of new (to us) grape varieties. We will begin to gather budwood or vines that could be more resistant to the extremes in precipitation and temperature fluctuations. If all goes well the first experimental vines will be planted in 2020.
We’ll be looking at vines that are more disease resistant (especially bunch rots) and those that can also tolerate winter temperatures that fluctuate from very warm one week to very cold the next. Back in the 1980s we justifiably worried about extreme cold (below -5º F). These very cold temperatures could kill buds and reduce yields, but could also be compensated for by creative pruning. Today our concerns center around the warm/cold fluctuations that cause conductive tissue damage and can kill vines requiring a replant situation. We saw this in 2014, especially with young vines.
We are also turning our thermostats down.