Looking back at the 2012 grape-growing season

The 2012 growing season in the North Coast was, in many respects, nearly perfect. Shot in vineyards across Napa Valley, Lake County, Mendocino, and Sonoma County, this is what it looked like. After a dry winter, much welcome spring rains saturated the soil and filled reservoirs. The primordial clusters that were nestled in so many [...]

All Things Being Equinox

bud break 2013 at Benziger in Sonoma

Bud break came early this year. Real early for some. Reports began coming in from some of the warmer parts of Napa Valley and Carneros as early as mid-February — as early as some some remember. Phil Coturri, who farms vineyards up and down Sonoma Valley, remembers his mentor Joe Miami telling him tall tales [...]

Primordial Clusters, From Galaxies to Grapevines

Hubble primordial clusters courtesy NASA

In January, 2012 NASA researchers made a very important discovery. The furthest protocluster of galaxies ever seen. Thirteen billion light years from Earth, scientists, with the help of a little guy named Hubble, saw a cluster of five galaxies just beginning to form. They referred to the galaxies as primordial clusters and predicted that they [...]

To See the Universe in a Pile of a Shit

cowhorns stuffed with manure

It’s late fall; the air is cool but the sun is warm and the vines, having been relieved of the burden of bearing fruit are just beginning to shrug their leaves. Each vine, like most trees and plants across the northern hemisphere is pulling its energy downwards, back into its roots. After months of drawing [...]

Zen and the Art of Pruning

Felco shears

It’s late morning in the last week of February. I can feel the morning sun just beginning to penetrate the fog — and my sweater. I’m standing in front of a grape vine in a small vineyard just east of the town of Napa. The vine is in what we like to call dormancy, even [...]

Vineyard Report: Fast-Breaking News Flash Edition

We take you now to Courtney Humiston with another fast-breaking news flash. Courtney is in a vineyard in Napa Valley in the rain — wet, cold and miserable — covering the quickly developing story of buds growing on vines (with all apologies to our favorite little green muppet reporter).

Vineyard Report: Eraser Tips and Early Bud Breaks

erasertips

The vines are waking and early budding vines are beginning to show themselves across the region.

Bud Breaking News: #notspringyet

They may have Punxsutawney Phil on the East Coast to let them know there’ll be six more weeks of winter, but here in Northern California we have Cathy Corison’s Twitter to set us straight: