2022 Cab growth starting off great.

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I spent a little time in amongst the vines today, testing the sprayer and sorting out the leaks. Then did some light shoot thinning and rubbed off buds and suckers. I have better luck with shoot thinning in phases, making multiple passes over time. The high temperature reached 97F, so I decided to put off spraying. I felt overheated also.

There is a lot of growth for early April. This spot is great for late blooming Cabernet, but damn it was hot today.

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These vines are at least 15 years old. The vineyard owner does not know. This is my third yeard at this vineyard and I am pulling dead vines, lowering spurs and cleaning up eutypa and crown gall. In my experience Cab grows thick trunks. It grows thick vines, the vines on the end of the rows throw off bull canes every year. The merlot by contrast always look slender and stunted.
 

ChuckD

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I didn’t realize it varies so much by variety. I had a wild grape vine in a stone pile in my field that was almost 7” in diameter. If I recall I counted more than 60 rings.
 

VinesnBines

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Your vines look great!

97F in April? Geez. We’ll have frost and freezing temperatures for at least another month. I’m worried about buds breaking too soon.
 
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We are in mid-May and the grapevines are producing very healthy shoots. I was on vacation and the shoots almost grew past the point where I could adjust them to be inside the catch wires. One vineyard has adjustable catch wires but it only helps if you stay on top of the growth.


The Cab is trying to do the "California Sprawl".
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The Cab canes are already thick as a finger in places and the crop will be heavy if the rains stay away in May. Here is one side of a quadrilateral cordon.
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The Merlot vines look the fullest I have ever seen. I am concerned the merlot is overcropped, so I will keep watching and decide if I need to selectively drop canes.
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Merlot fruit load will be heavy this year also. I may need more carboys! Barrels are in my future when the new vines come online
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I have started leaf pulling after three weeks away. The Rona got me and I was quarantined for 2 weeks 😷

The Merlot clusters are very full
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The Cab is looking sad. Lots of shot berries and shatter this year. 😩 poor fruit set.

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Next, in the other vineyard, gophers have invaded the new plantings! Grrrr. This vine was girdled. I hope to nurse it to health
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Of course the vineyard owners rescued a puppy which at 6 mo. is the size of a Great Dane and it has been hell on wheels. It destroyed the irrigation hoses for all the landscaping including the vineyard and a few vines.
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So, this year has been endless excitement for me!
 

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Merlot is coming in fast. I wish I could slow it down. Grapes are at 19 Brix. I gave the vines some water. The leaves were turning from the sun. I predict this will be the last irrigation before harvest.

From comparing the taste of Cab to Merlot I can tell the Cab has more character. Sideways was right.

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