After about a month of rainy weather, the sun has come back out at Tablas Creek. And we're thrilled with the rainfall we've received; we're over 17 inches of rain so far this winter, about 175% of normal at this point of the year, and look like we're well on the way to putting the 2007-2009 drought in our rear view mirror. The vineyard is in great shape after all the rain, but the lack of sun has meant that the cover crops are a little behind. They'll catch up quickly now that the sun is out.
With the sun comes cold nights, and we've had frost here in the morning most of this week. Yesterday, we narrowly missed a frost when fog rolled in in the early morning. By the time I got out to the vineyard around nine, it was starting to lift (you could see the blue of the sky) but still pretty dense at the surface. We don't get a lot of fog here, so I grabbed the camera and headed out. Here are some of the best shots; as usual the complete photo album is on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TablasCreek
The fog was densest down by the creek, and the photo below is looking south from our parking lot, toward the creek where it's closest to the winery. Yes, that bright spot is the sun.
The vines make wonderful patterns as they disappear into the fog. These wild-looking vines are Chardonnay, which we cane pruned this year as an experiment.
The cover crops are small but healthy, and did a great job holding the soil in place even during the last dose of rain that dropped over three inches in 24 hours.
The ground is so saturated that water is seeping out of the hillsides. You can see one of these seasonal springs below, on the hillside above our nursery.
As the fog lifts,the color palette changes, and blues and yellows start to join the white and green. This shot looks north through a Grenache block.
Finally, as I got back to the winery, the fog was mostly lifted, except for the last few clouds seeping out of the woods that line the creek.
We're looking forward to another week of sun, which will allow some of the surface water to soak in and get the cover crops some fuel. Then, it will be back to wishing for wet weather for us.