IN THE VINEYARD—JULY

Usually it’s Susan Arbios who delivers Arbios/Praxis Cellars Tasting Room order but this Tuesday Bill dropped by with their 14 cases. It always provides a nice opportunity to catch up with each of our boutique proprietors who--as you all know, in their capacities as farmers, winemakers, and business owners—find themselves driving tractors, forklifts, and delivery trucks as needs dictate. I asked Bill what was going on in the winery and vineyard:

“Well, in the winery we just finished bottling for the year with the ’14 Pinot Noir, so now it’s just going to sit comfortably until it goes out the door to make new friends!

In our Estate Cabernet vineyard the vines are all leafed, meaning they have nice dappled sunlight on them and we’re seeing the berries beginning to size up.”

The Arbios Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Vineyard is up above 2,000’. Leaf canopy management is one of the methods viticulturists use to control pests and pathogens naturally by controlling the thickening of the cuticle (the outermost layer of a fruit’s skin).

“There’s no color on them yet—we’re about two weeks behind everyone else because we’re up at altitude. This year’s set is much better than last year’s but still not as even as I’d like to see, each cluster might have lost maybe five to ten berries so it’s very difficult to estimate how many tons to the acre but generally it means overall crop yields will be down and concentration of flavors will likely be up.”

So, in brief, what Bill may lose in production we all gain in deliciousness!

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