As the calendar rolls to a new year, the time to begin preparing the vineyards for a new season rolls around. While pruning and vineyard maintenance are not the most romantic notion in the wine business, it is a vital part to the quality of the finished product.
Each year as I set out hand pruning the vineyards that we manage, I find myself visualizing the upcoming season. Pruning the vineyard is a time of rebirth for the grapevines. We cut away the canes that brought us our amazing fruit last season and strategically set the grapevine up for harvest 2015. How we prune dictates where and how the vine will grow in the upcoming season. It can also greatly dictate the quality of the upcoming harvest. While it may seem like menial labor, those workers who are out in the vineyard are highly skilled and very knowledgeable. They are a huge part of the quality of any wine.
To me this time of year is a magical time in the valley. As I walk the rows and prune grapevines, I rejuvenate myself and the vineyard. These hours of manual labor offer a time to put the 2014 harvest to rest and begin the journey towards the 2015 season. With the right amount of skill, passion, and care for the vineyard, Mother Nature will reward us with beautiful 2015 crop. The cycle of life in the vineyard is an amazing thing! It will not be long before we are celebrating the fruits of our labor.