Many Michiganders are rejoicing at the sight of the sun in February and the unseasonably warm temperatures that have accompanied it as of late. It has indeed been an unusually warm winter overall in Northwest Michigan. I love downhill and cross-country skiing and if you enjoy winter sports like me, this has been quite frustrating. If your outdoor activities cease at shoveling a path to your car so you can warm it up for your drive to work, you may be singing and dancing in the now snowless streets. At least we can all agree that the sunshine has been glorious.
It is that time of year again- holiday parties, gift buying and giving, mistletoe smooches with your special someone, crackling fires, bad sweater parties, and strange desserts that have no business being made- put down that fruitcake recipe! It is also the time of year to think about and drink about a bottle or four, of your favorite Late Harvest wine or Icewine.
Working with a regional compost supplier, we have come up with the special blend of compost, organic fertilizers, and other minerals important for soil health that is tailored to the needs of our vines. Check out our latest video and learn more abut what we do with compost!
Now, don't get too excited, we are going to briefly discuss the science behind sexual reproduction in wine grapes. This is a family-friendly blog, after all. This particular process is key to creating those delicious bottles of wine you enjoy because let's face it; we can't have wine without grapes. However, there are some interesting and unique aspects of reproduction in grapes.
Last month we discussed various soil types found in our vineyards, and you learned the importance of matching a plant with its favored soil type, as well as the impact a soil can have on a plant. This month we will learn a little about the different things we do to keep our soil healthy and productive.
The type of soil in which a vineyard is established is one of many factors that mold a wine’s style, or as the French say “terroir,” that is… a sense of place or environment. There are also many other factors at play, such as climate, topography, and vine management. But, everything begins and ends with the soil.
Life in the vineyard is just beginning to show itself. But what are the managers and farmers working on, where are they focused, what are they doing now that will set the pace for the whole season. Well, it all begins with the buds!