Thursday, April 15, 2010

Notes From The Winemaker

Hi folks,
After a long pleasant winter with plenty of cold (but not too cold for the wines) crisp air, spring has returned. It has been a spring with some unusually warm temperatures – leading to the earliest bud break our vines have ever had. Normally, and without much variation, bud break begins the first week of May. This year the vines are two and a half weeks early.
Spring is an exciting time in the vineyard. Our pruning crew returns and outdoor work begins – ending the winter days spent solely working in the cellar. Each vine is pruned, it’s desired starting structure restored and readied for a new season. As the ground warms, the sap begins to flow in the vines, buds swell and open and the cycle of growth and renewal begins again.
The pruning process is healthy and therapeutic for the vines. If left unpruned they would grow too extensively and produce far more fruit than they could ripen. The process though, is also beneficial for the pruner. Trimming away old growth and selecting the healthiest canes to give the vine a desirable shape and balance is a very satisfying and complete feeling. The anticipation for the new season can be felt throughout this initial journey of vine tending.
We are lucky here at Millbrook Winery to have a crew that has returned for many growing seasons. One couple has been working with us since 1991. The crew knows how to work with vines and different varieties. They know the tasks to be accomplished and the rhythm of the season. This all adds to the health of the vineyard and the grapes that will become our wines.
Another season is underway and we will do our best, both in the vineyard and the winery, to make it a good one!

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