Sacrifice a Few… to Save a Thousand

Jul 20, 2012
Grapes Green Drop Without a doubt my favorite aspect of being involved in the wine industry is that there is always something new to learn. To be honest, I feel I learn something new every day. I love to share my new found information with everyone that comes into our Tasting Room (or to our blog). Today on our estate we are going through a vineyard practice called “Green Drop.” This is a process that can occur as many as three times during the grape clusters ripening phase; however, we usually keep it to once or twice each growing season and prefer to complete it right before verasion (the berries color changing phase). The idea behind the “Green Drop” is that we will be sacrificing a percentage of the underdeveloped clusters on each vine that are located in the fruiting zone and the rouge clusters that grow up in the leafy canopy. Essentially, there is only a set amount of sugars, minerals and water that each vine can absorb. As a result of “Green Dropping,” the remaining clusters can attain higher levels of the precious sugar and minerals and ripen slightly quicker. This practice contributes to the concentration in the fruit so that in the end, we have a richer and higher quality wine. Also occurring at this time is an innovative practice that actually involves pruning the roots! Yes, that’s right! We actually trim back the growing roots of each grapevine. This is accomplished by a tractor pulling a small plow attachment down the middle of each row. This adds a stress factor to each vine and actually signals the vine to increase sugar output to the clusters. Additional beneficial effects are keeping the berries nice and small as well as encouraging thick skins that add color and flavor to our wines. This is one of my favorite times at the winery as we are sitting on the cusp of our harvest and the craziness that comes along with it! I hope you are able to come out to the estate and see firsthand the vineyard practices that truly set our wines apart! Drink what you like, but understand why you like it!
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