Journal | July 2, 2018

Hardscrabble Journal

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Ten yellow suns in a row appeared on the weather web site. This is exactly what the vines need. The soil is moist and there is too much water available to the vines. They are lush, exuberant, and too content. If the soil dries over the next few weeks, the vines will slow their growth and get into better balance. They can then put their energy into ripening their grapes rather than growing additional unnecessary leaves.

The best management technique at our disposal is to do nothing. We let the weeds and the grass grow with great abandon. They are competing with the vines for water and nutrients. By creating this large biomass in the vineyard all the plants are pumping water out of the soil.

To the untrained eye, Hardscrabble Vineyard looks to be a veritable unruly mess right now.  But we don’t grow vines for aesthetics. A balanced vine will be more likely to make a balanced wine.

Jonathan and I had our first pre-crush meeting. We dusted off last year’s notes reminding us of the repairs and improvements we should be working on. Crop estimations will be made over the coming week. August bottling dates have been set. The rest of the 2016 reds and most of the 2017 whites will be bottled in order to free up barrels for the 2018 juice.

Pre-crush vacation dates are also set. Balance.