Nice weather we’re having- 02/14
Well, I’m sure our grape growing friends (with myself included in that group), along with a lot of other citizens of our great state, are happier at this point as we’re finally experiencing substantial rainfall in California. It may not be enough to refill all the state reservoirs but groundwater and soil moisture are certainly being replenished with the onset of a couple of very wet storm systems which began in mid-February. And we still have another month of historically wet weather to go! We’ll see how Mother Nature plays out her hand through the rest of the season but at least things are looking up so far.
Hansen Transport gets the job done!
Some of our better drivers and one mechanic merited the golden opportunity to get even closer to the product they usually haul during the 2013 grape harvest when a picking crew got the notion to walk off the job in a vineyard block we were hand-harvesting, with a couple tons still left on the vine. Our impromptu amateur crew moxied up and finished the job themselves, getting the last clusters in the bins, on the truck, and off to the winery just in time before they closed down the crush pad for the night!
Vineyard update 12/18/2012
I never thought we’d pick grapes at the end of November but the last chardonnay in this year was harvested on 11/27. One of the Sonoma County wineries we sell grapes to decided they wanted to try out one of our chardonnay clones for a late harvest wine. We agreed to delay harvest so the sugar would continue to rise and a certain type of mold would begin to grow on the berries? All season long we fight these very diseases which usually make the fruit unacceptable to winemakers but this year we were actually promoting them as best we could. It seems that a certain common fungus known as botrytis cinerea, aka “bunch rot” by growers, causes a desirably rich, sweet flavor all it’s own, kind of like the way a strong cheese results from the right combination of mold, bacteria, and aging. Anyway, can’t wait now to see how it turns out! Here’s a picture of the fruit-not a pretty sight IMO, especially considering that these are supposed to be white grapes!:
Vineyard update 11/22/12
Thanksgiving today, 11/22, and we’ve much to be thankful about. We had a good year in both trucking and grape growing, a reversal of the last two years. Thanks to all our customers for their patronage; we’ll continue to strive for unexcelled service.
Vineyard update 05/12
Quite a change from the last two years which blasted us with some of the coldest and wettest springs in California history. This year in Sonoma County the weather is much more normal, sunny and breezy with a little fog rolling in every few days. Bloom began around May 20, just a little late but still on track. Cluster counts are a bit erratic but cluster size appears to be large and overall fruitfulness is very promising at this point. Now we need a normal summer as well. The last two years let us down during that season in similar manner to springtime; while much of the country fried, California experienced summer temps well below normal, especially in the coastal regions where most of the prime wine grapes are grown. An unrelenting marine layer (fog) was the culprit. Many grapes didn’t reach ripeness and disease pressure was very high, causing even more losses. Most growers are banking on a good harvest this year-along with their banks!