We're (finally, thankfully) in a cold, wet winter weather pattern. Over the past four days we've received about 3.5 inches of rain, and it appears that we have Pacific storms dropping down out of Alaska every other day for the next ten days or so. That's great. We're up to 8.85 inches of rain for the year, and hope to pick up another 3 or 4 inches this week.
Still, I was not expecting, when I left town in the steady rain that we'd been receiving all night, to see snow out at the vineyard. It does snow in Paso Robles every now and then (the link at the left is to a blog post from our last snowfall, almost exactly three years ago) and when it does it's always beautiful. When I got out to the vineyard, it was still snowing hard, and we got an inch or two of accumulation. The photos below are a few of the best; you're invited to view the whole "Tablas Creek snow" photo album on Facebook (you can look at the photos even if you're not a Facebook member). First, the main road heading out into the vineyard, lined by snow-covered olive trees:
A look down toward our grapevine nursery through our tiny Chardonnay block:
I love the geometry of the vineyard, made more dramatic by the snow. Below, a newly-pruned Roussanne block to the west of the winery:
We've been pruning for the past few weeks; below is a single, newly-pruned Roussanne vine, with a closeup below:
We collect the prunings off the vineyard for our grapevine nursery. The pruned Roussanne canes are in the foreground of the photo below, covered with snow:
It was cold enough (32 degrees exactly) that the snow was sticking wherever it landed. Add to that the fact that the air was absolutely calm and the snow built up even on the unpruned canes like those in the Syrah block south of the winery:
Finally, one shot of the snowy Beaucastel sign in front of our tasting room: