On April 16 we will begin construction on an addition to our winery facility. This new addition will increase our production and storage space so to accommodate additional barrels and bottled wine coming from our vineyard expansion of 2008 and 2009.
The 2012 growing season has commenced. We had our earliest on record bud break the last week of March. This was followed by an expected spring frost that did nip some of the newly formed and tiny leaves and shoots. Fortunately only a small percent of our buds had opened so the damage was minimal. Currently, all but our Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot has opened and we are once again under the threat of frost. We are also very dry, receiving little snow or rain during the mild winter, so between the current cold spring temperatures and dry soil conditions, what has opened is now growing very slow.
Where did the year go? It seems like only yesterday it was April. Harvest and crush 2011 have come and past. All of our new wines with the exception of Late Harvest Petit Manseng have completed fermentation and are resting comfortably in tank and barrel.
Vintage 2011 was by all accounts an up and down year. Bud break was normal, mid to late April, followed by many spring rains. By the first of June it had turned dry and extremely hot, causing fruit set problems primarily with some young Merlot plantings. Off and on rains continued throughout most of the summer but by early August the rains had stopped, it was hot and we were poised for another great vintage. Then, the proverbial bottom fell out.
Our vineyards are now ready for the start of this year’s growing season. The buds are still tight and the spring weather has been more winter like with freezing temperatures and even snow. Right now it looks to be a normal to a late bud break date.
2011 is well underway with winter dormant pruning, preparing some 2009 and 2010 wines for a March bottling and conducting blending trials of our massive 2010 red wines. In 2010, we had our first harvest of grapes from our vineyard plantings of 2008, increasing our red wine production, i.e. more Hodder Hill, and also from these young vineyards, we have created a new Glen Manor wine, our 2010 Late Harvest Petit Manseng.