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November 05, 2009

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Personally, I liked 2008 grapes better than 2007. While 2007 gave us an indication of how nice California must be to farm in (every day was sunny), I thought the fruit was less complex in flavor than 2008. In 2007 I did enjoy waking up in the morning knowing that it was going to be sunny and warm and that I didn't have to go through the acrobatics of scheduling and reacting to weather changes that was the hallmark of 2009.

We dropped our fruit to 1-2 clusters per shoot once we were through July and realized we were not likely to get the heat we needed. We use Scott Henry trellising with narrow rows and can support up to 4 tons/acre here on this site. We further reduced the crop at veraison by clipping any cluster that appeared to be lagging behind the others, which ensured consistency. The net result was we cropped at 1.5 tons per acre or less in the vineyard this year. We purchased more outside fruit to keep our production volume up. Of course, all of this added up to more cost for less fruit. The fruit we did get, however, was well balanced and had brix ranging from 21 to 23 with acidity running a bit above expectations. I think the wines from most producers will be fine - everyone was paying attention.

I would be happy to never see another year like this - it was a tremendous amount of effort.

I decided to purchase the seeds for the Dwarf Cavendish Banana variety
due to the fact that I plan on cultivating the plant in a hydroponic environment.
Starting the plant from a soilless media would be required,
due to the seedlings later introduction into a top feed drip hydroponic system.

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