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Jack Frost is in the Vineyard!

December 14th, 2015

Every year around Thanksgiving the same question presents itself at the tasting bar. “Why are the grapevines dead?” Please, let us reassure you, without death there is no life. This is the natural order of the vine. Each Autumn the leaves turn brown and fall. Just like a tree! This leaves the vine bare with a few stragglers looking discolored and rotten, maybe there is even a shriveled up cluster of grapes hanging on for dear life. Because after we harvest our choice fruit, the vine continues the process of photosynthesis. This creates carbohydrate reserves which the vine will store in its trunk and root. Once it has filled itself full to satisfaction the chlorophyll in the leaves begin to break down and the leaves begin to change to their fall colors. Then, when the temperatures fall low enough, the leaves drop. This signals to the vine to stop its metabolic activity. The vine is asleep, it has gone dormant. This stage in the vines yearly cycle is argumentatively the most important stage. This is the time when we will go through the vineyard and prune back growth that is unnecessary to the next year. Because, while the vine is sleeping, it will not bleed its water and sugar. Instead it will heal over and harden where we cut. Shortening its size so it can grow again without detrimental affect. It is conserving all of its stored energy so that when the Spring comes it can burst forth, all at once actively, visually, and effectively producing new growth.