Journal | April 17, 2019
Journal | April 9, 2019
Vine pruning is finished. Now the waiting game starts, although the vines are progressing quickly with higher than average temperatures. Young Chardonnay vines will begin bud break any day now. We’ll have a few weeks before the vines are at a stage were they need handwork attention, so now is a good time to graft our first vines for Linden’s Climate Change Trial vineyard.
Journal | April 2, 2019
We just finished a very successful planting of 1,400 Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The last day was grueling as the best slope was saved for last. This particular slope consists of a very large pile of rocks. And not much else.
Journal | March 26, 2019
Planting a new vineyard block gives great satisfaction and optimism. It will be years before there is something tangible produced, but the process itself is rewarding.
Journal | March 14, 2019
Spring is slow this year. That is fine with us. It gives us more time to finish pruning, tying and trellis repair. The vines are only just starting to bleed. This is the winegrower term for when the sap flows after making a pruning cut. It is a good sign: the vines are coming to life.
Journal | February 19, 2019
Preservation of the wine’s fresh aromas and flavors depends on getting the wine from barrel into bottle with military-like precision.
Journal | January 31, 2019
Winegrowers don’t agree on much, but we all unhesitatingly profess our love for pruning.
Journal | January 22, 2019
Rather than totally sell out each vintage, serious wineries hold back a portion of their bottlings. Some of these wine libraries are very extravagant and public. Most are simply a designated corner of the working cellar.
Journal | January 7, 2019
Tasting Vintage 2018
The vineyard floor is ice coated as partially thawed snow was rained on then re-frozen. This makes pruning hazardous, especially on steep slopes.
Journal | December 18, 2018
Born Under a Bad Sign
Pruning season is upon us. We got an early start this year, which does carry some risks.
Journal | December 10, 2018
On Saturday, December 15, 2018 officially became the wettest year in recorded history for our region. This gave us winegrowers a sort of perverted sense of satisfaction, knowing that it is possible to produce serviceable wines under the most extreme conditions. We do hope the record stands.
Journal | December 4, 2018
This cold, but not too cold, weather pattern is just what the vines need. They had a most confusing growing season, so a long, restful winter will bode well. A normal, typical, average, uneventful winter would be ideal.
Journal | November 26, 2018
Vintage 2019 begins (a bit early)
I could not resist. After so many dreary, bone chilling days, yesterday was the perfect day to be outside. Well aware that it is recommended to delay pruning until later in the winter, I started anyway. Pruning is every winegrower’s favorite task. It is creative, it is quiet, and it rewards immediately. It is what we signed up for.
Journal | November 20, 2018
Better With Age
How and why a given wine ages is one of the most frequent questions asked by both novices and professionals. Most winegrowers can readily answer the “how” part, but the “why” part is usually vague and elusive. Best that it remains that way. Science can often ruin a good story.
Journal | November 12, 2018
In some ways bottling is the worst thing that can happen to a wine. A youthful, delicate, expressive wine in barrel or tank will retreat into a shell of itself after bottling. This widely recognized phenomenon is known as bottle shock.
Journal | November 5, 2018
Why No 2018 Reds?
There’s been some puzzlement and confusion coming from Virginia wine enthusiasts who have been following the 2018 vintage.
Journal | October 29, 2018
The Dust Settles
We are now able get our first glimpse of the 2018 wines.
Journal | October 22, 2018
Winter Worries (already)
The consequences of the wet 2018 growing season linger. Most noticeable are the leaves, still hanging on, but not exactly vibrant. The mountains lack their usual luster of fall and are slow to change color. Vine leaves are similar, with the top leaves now all gone exposing still green shoot tips that should be brown. This is the problem.
Journal | October 15, 2018
The 2018 vintage ended abruptly and left us somewhat dazed for a while. It was an enormously stressful year in which inclement weather dictated hard work and tough decisions. Then it all ended without much fanfare.
Journal | Follow the 2018 Harvest | October 8, 2018
This fall’s harvest has very quickly become a distant memory. We are looking forward now.
Over and Out
It was a fortuitous finish of an otherwise dismal vintage. The Petit Manseng grape has grit. A seriously spiteful Mother Nature threw everything she had at these resilient vines, but they still gave us a harvest that will make some of the best wines of 2018.