Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Still Waiting In Calistoga

The picture is of zinfandel growing in Calistoga. As you can see, the clusters are very full and the grapes grow up against each other. This is what makes zinfandel such a challenge to grow. Moisture can build up between the grapes and in the interior of the cluster, promoting mold. We combat this by thinning the canopy, pulling leaves from the eastern face of the vineyard and making sure the "shoulders" or "wings" of the cluster are removed. It's a painful day, the day we have to drop the shoulders, but a necessary step to ensure the health of the crop.

These grapes are still growing in my vineyard in Calistoga. Last brix measurement was about 25, but seeds and pulp of the grapes still lack maturity. We'll continue to irrigate and let the fruit hang until we see the pulp turning more clear, less green and the grapeseeds become brown.

Soon, but not yet!

Laura Zahtila,
Zahtila Vineyards

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