Ok so what is new here? Plenty!
We have 9 new lambs born in the last 10 days to add to our vineyard fertilization and weeding team which starts again after harvest. We also have 2 new friends Cuzco and Quito our male Alpacas. They are here to eat, fertilize and protect our sheep from predators.
Finally summer is here and the vines are growing and fruit set is complete. Summer heat came late this season so we have thinned our vines 2 times already to promote ripe fruit with good tannins. We have won 3 GOLD medals, seven SILVER medals and 4 bronze medals all this month. Paso Wines are so good now and the world knows it!!
April 13,2011: Last week we pruned all of our vines. The cane cuttings are left on the vineyard floor in every other row that we alternate every year. After bud break we will move the sheep out for the growing season. In May we will chop up the cane cuttings with our flail mower allowing them to break down and go back into the soil. With a little help from the skies above new shoots will soon emerge on the fresh spurs hopefully bringing healthy and balanced fruit. The intensive vineyard management season starts right now and will not stop until the day after harvest (usually mid to late November). On the back 60 acres we have just removed the 2 rams (sheep) and if they did their job we will have 16 pregnant ewes. By July we hope to have 20 to 25 new lambs to add to our vineyard management team for next year. The Angus bull has also been removed from his harem of 16 cows. With some luck we will have 16 new calves by years end.
March 30, 2011: We have received over 46 inches of rain this season here on our ranch. Being only 11 miles from the ocean is why we usually get as much as two times the rainfall as in downtown Paso Robles area. This rain when it arrives between November and April is what we as farmers dream about. It will help set our vineyard roots deeper into the ground. As summer warms us up and the moisture in the ground drops the roots will get a greater workout or exercise, stretching and working harder to grow deeper to reach the available moisture. We will not need to water for an extra two months or more so instead of weaker shallow roots (Pee Wee Herman) we will have deeper stronger roots (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Also our Angus will have food (grass) for an extra two months as well. Finally equally as important the electrical energy savings will save us and the environment as water pumps will remain off.
We have just posted our first You Tube Movie: Angus, Ruby and Patron happy on water and grass