It will come as no surprise to followers of this blog that it has been an unusual weather year. We started the year off dry and warm, in a season it's more typically cold and wet. Then, in March, when it's usually drying out, it started raining. The combination has meant that we didn't get much cover crop growth at the time of year when we typically see it, but just as we're getting ready to knock it down and give the vines unimpeded access to the soil's water and nutrients, it's growing like crazy. On top of it all, budbreak was at least two weeks earlier than normal, and we've been incredibly fortunate to avoid a spring freeze. The result has been a rare combination of green hillsides and green vines in an environment where you typically have one or the other, but not both at the same time.
And, the wildflowers are blooming, spectacularly.
We're working as hard as we can to get the cover crop turned under so that the biomatter decomposes and enriches the soil, but because of our late start due to the late rain -- and our desire to get good cover crop growth to generate that biomass -- we're behind. The result has been a beautiful color palette in the vineyard, like an impressionist painting. This twenty second video was taken just outside our winery, and shows off the California poppies that are everywhere right now, as well as the foot-high oats that are a part of our cover crop and the new green sprouts on the grapevines.
We suggest that you repeat this video as necessary until you achieve serenity.