We're experiencing a warm, sunny interlude in the middle of winter, and are taking advantage by getting out into the vineyard to begin pruning. As usual, we're starting with our latest-budding varietals, since the act of pruning the vines encourages them to begin to push for spring. So, we save the early-budding varietals like Viognier and Syrah for last to minimize our exposure to late-season frosts.
The beautiful afternoon gave the opportunity for some nice shots in the vineyard, starting with a closeup of a two-bud Mourvedre spur:
In our typical double-cordon system, we leave three spurs per cordon and two buds per spur. This gives us a dozen buds on each plant, and we can project on average about one cluster per bud we leave. The complete Mourvedre vine, newly pruned:
Unlike most vineyards, we don't just discard the prunings. Through our partnership with NovaVine in Sonoma, we market our cuttings through the Tablas Creek Grapevine Nursery to growers around the West Coast. So, we have bundles of pruned vines awaiting NovaVine's pickup. Here is one bundle, sitting between Mourvedre rows and framed by an old oak that could have come out of central casting:
And finally, because I couldn't resist the shot once I'd seen it, here is a nice view from up on top of our solar panels, with Mourvedre vineyard to the left, oak-lined Adelaida Road at the edge of our property and Halter Ranch on the hillside across the road: