Summer in the Russian River Valley is such a beautiful time of year. Foggy mornings and warm afternoons make this an ideal time to visit wine country. Summer marks the arrival of grape clusters, which begin forming on the vines as the leaves soak up the summer sun. From new plantings to leaf pulling to cluster development, here are just a few of the activities that are taking place right now in the vineyard.
Flowering- Depending on temperatures 40-80 days following bud break the process of flowering begins with small flower clusters appearing on the tips of the young shoots. It is during this stage that the pollination and fertilization of the grapevine takes place with the resulting product being a grape berry, containing 1-4 seeds. The flowers are very susceptible to high wind and frost making this an incredibly sensitive stage of the growth cycle of the grapevine.
Rootstock- Planting a new vineyard is an exciting activity in wine country. Our new planting is located on the Frost Ranch, which is situated right next to the Russian River Valley. The new planting will be the Wente Clone Pinot Noir on the Riparia rootstock pictured here. Riparia is known to perform better near riverbanks and bottomlands. Because of where this vineyard is located, Riparia is the best fit for this environment.
Legumes- Legumes grow intermittently in throughout our vineyards. They are easily spotted in the dry grass because they are a rich green color. Many legumes contain symbiotic bacteria in their root systems. This bacteria has the ability to fix nitrogen into the ground, making them relatively rich in plant protein. When a legume plant dies in the field after harvest, its remaining nitrogen is released back into the soil. In the soil, the amino acids are converted to nitrate, making the nitrogen available to other plants, thereby serving as fertilizer for future crops.