The sun peaked out for our annual company pruning day on Monday Feb. 22nd at Savoya Vineyard! The four essential steps to pruning a vine are as follows: 1) Access the plant & decide what you want to leave for … Continue reading →
It’s that time of year again. The vineyards are busy with workers pruning and preparing for this year’s growing season. The KWC staff is not exempt from this hard work. On March 21st all KWC employees met at the Savoya vineyard to prune the company block. After a hearty meal, a few sips of bourbon and a quick tutorial from vineyard managers Mark Gould, Taylor Varuska and Seth Miller the company set out with clippers in hand. The company spent the sunny afternoon making thoughtful cuts, pulling old brush from the trellis system and then tipping and tying the new cane to the wire.
As many of you know Ken Wright has been very involved in getting the new viticulture program started at Yamhill-Carlton high school. In conjunction with this new program Ken Wright has worked closely with Y-C Agriculture Science and Technology instructor, Nichole Eskelsen, to offer a summer internship program for the students of Y-C. The internship is offered to students who are directly involved in the viticulture class and tending the newly planted onsite school pinot noir vineyard. In order to keep students involved in agricultural education and viticulture in their summer months off, the KWC internship provides that learning opportunity. We have 14 interns this summer: Kaylie Boschma, Kat Cline, JJ Frank, Darrion Gering, Victoria Horlyk, Sam Kounz, Tamera McKenzie, Nicole Olson, Orrin Ouska, Nathan Pauve, Megan Sauers, Evan Shultz, Ashley VanDeWalle, and Conner Weidner.
As we begin to finish pruning various vineyards, we then mulch up last year’s cane with a heavy flail or cane flail. This speeds up the breakdown process and helps incorporate organic matter back into the soil. It also helps clear the way (literally… due to the high volume of cane it is troublesome to operate any machinery in rows until the cane is broken down) for the next steps in our vineyards which are composting and adding other amendments such as calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Seth Miller, one of our Vineyard Managers, kindly provided some photos of this process.
The first picture is of a row with cane gathered in it.
The next two are of loading compost and an example of the spreader.
The last one is of a row that has been flailed and then given a sufficient dressing of compost. This row will next be limed and in the late spring will be disced into the soil and replanted with a cover crop.
In doing these things we are establishing a solid foundation for a healthy vineyard. Plants with good health and vigor balance are better able to resist disease and ripen fruit. There is also a correlation with nutrition levels and the ability to properly ferment after harvest in the winery. In other words, the yeast works better when the fruit is healthy.