Wednesday, 29 March 2017
When it's climate change and not global warming, what we face is extremes of nature not a gradual shift. This year exemplified how unpredictable the climate has become. After years of drought, vintners in California are treading water wondering what will happen to this years' crop. The Russian River Valley flooded under feet of water and more rain was on the way. Luckily the vines were dormant.
But it wasn't just in California and Nevada that rain wreaked havoc. Australia's Swan Valley and the south of France and Italy experienced periods of heavy downpours and flooding in 2016. And it's become a recurring nightmare.
Fortunately, that's one thing we are not likely to have to worry about as our vineyard is on a nicely sloping hill. All the water runs down to the sea, but we have to ensure that the topsoil doesn't go with it. That's why we have left the grass around the vines. Right or wrong, it's our current choice.
Saturday, 25 March 2017
|Terraced vineyards in Lombardy|
|Moving a bit too fast to photograph the vineyards en route.|
|Lake Como on a hazy winter's day|
Friday, 24 March 2017
It's just two days into Spring and the buds are getting robust. The white vines are slightly behind the red ones in development. Now's the time to keep a close eye on their development.
Red grape vine budding strongly
White grape vine just beginning
Thursday, 23 March 2017
I know, I know, they don't look like much. Well they aren't really. I only bought five plants as an experiment. Everyone says they won't work here, but someone has said that for every thing that anyone has ever attempted for the first time. Climate change is accelerating faster than anyone thought, so maybe I am right. Maybe not.
Now why would I want chardonnay when some people preach ABC - anything but chardonnay? Because chardonnay is a grape varietal with an identity crisis. Developing a fine chardonnay in your backyard has to do with both where its grown and how it is made. I am thinking Chablis, the fine French vintage, not Gallo who tainted chablis as serious white plonk.
We have clay soil as does the Chablis region of France. Chablis is made from 100% chardonnay grapes gown in clay soil. The Chardonnay varietal is expressive as a rainbow or generic as a blank label. She can be both a rock star and a street hawker, a prima ballerina and a cheap harlot. Why does Chardonnay have this split personality? Because she takes on the characteristics of the soil, the conditions and the maker more so than any other varietal.
Can I make a great Chablis? I won't know until I try. Anyway, it will be years before my chardonnay vines let me do that.
For now, I'm learning what I can about how to get started.
Chardonnay bare root grapevines clone D258 Duft on SO4 31 Op rootstocks @ €5 each. €33.45 w/P/P
|What it may look like one day.|
Phone 00353 86 8878047