Dog Days of Summer July 11, 2019 10:30
We will get through these long hot days. We always do.
My wines would not be so good without them.
Dog Days means hot and humid in many places. But here In Dry Creek Valley July days can start gray with cool foggy dew on the vines. Afternoon humidity is low.
A typical foggy morning.
Heat arrives around noon after the fog burns off. Bright sunlight begins heating things up in late morning and escalates to a peak around 4.
Temperature rarely rises above 100F. But when It does fog soon rolls in to moderate.
After a cool night vines begin the day fresh with turgor. Perky and upright they lean toward the sun to absorb sunlight in order to mature their grapes.
As the sun disappears in the west vines have become a little worn after a full day of low humidity and sunlight. Canes hang and leaves temporarily wilted are ready to have 10 hours to restore before their work begins again.
In July comes the first clue of ripening. Veraison (change of color in the grape berries). Grapes bunches will rapidly turn from green to purple.
Veraison. Another magical time the vines.
Vineyard jobs like mowing, plowing, weed whacking, cane positioning have slacked off.
Walks thought he vines still requires little corrections like positioning canes and pulling leaves, but for the winemaker there is time for an occasional afternoon rest.
It's just a short siesta on the
tasting room porch.
Inside the winery the job is getting my 2017 vintage ready to bottle by moving wine out of the small oak casks where it has been aging for the past two years.
I reside inside the cool tasting room three days a week now for summer hours. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Folks on vacation are visiting from all over the world. When I see a familiar face returning to buy my wine I am happy and thankful for such a wonderful group of customers.
We owe the term Dog Days of Summer to the brightest star in the July sky, Sirius. As the prominent star in constellation Canis Major it is a stand out. Sirius is twice as big as our sun.
Water is life. I irrigate when needed. But I am judicious about it's use. Now monitoring is important in the vineyards. I am constantly checking for leaks, clogs and places where porcupine and coyote have chewed the drip lines