Our use of technology sets us apart, but it is always tempered by experience and a good dose of gut instinct.
Farming and vineyard management is always changing, with new strategies, philosophies and equipment being introduced on a near continuous basis. With over 1500 acres of vineyard currently under our care, we embrace new technology in every aspect of farming, and our team of vineyard managers and viticuturists are outfitted with some of the most advanced equipment and services in the industry including NDVI technology, AgCode vineyard tracking, soil moisture sensors, etc. Yet we also firmly believe that nothing can take the place of walking the vineyard to truly understand and farm it well. Simply put, hands-on farming and ‘boots on the ground’ are in our DNA.
No matter the season, the weather, the day of the week or the time of day, we are here.
Vineyards don't take time off, and neither do we. Growing fine wine grapes is a year-round, 24/7 proposition, with dozens if not hundreds of steps related to each client's needs and the unique demands of the season. Ensuring the health of the soil. Monitoring and tending the vines. Troubleshooting pests and disease. Responding to Mother Nature's curve balls, and carefully bringing each vintage's harvest to perfect completion.
In winter the vineyards are quiet; the vines are bare. The primary activity is pruning, a practice that determines not only this growing season's outcome but the following vintage as well. Pruning can be done by hand or machine - or both - depending on client preference. We work with each client to determine and recommend the best course of action for each particular site.
Spring brings bud break, and with it the start of a new growing season. Frost, and the need to protect young buds from damage, is on everyone's mind. Our vineyard teams and crews are on call, ready to respond when temperatures start to dip. Our viticulturists also advise about cover crops and the best time to mow, and help to predict crop size and plan canopy management techniques accordingly.
Early summer brings flowering, and over the next couple of months cluster and fruit development as well as veraison. In this crucial growing period we focus on canopy management (leaf and shoot pulling), irrigation management, pest and disease control, and later on, crop load adjustment. We work closely with clients to ensure vines and grapes are developing as desired in terms of both quantity and quality.
Our most important goal in the fall - as harvest gets underway - is to deliver fruit to the client within the time window requested. Many vineyards under our care require several passes of picking as blocks ripen at a different pace. Some vineyards are machine harvested, others are picked by hand - all according to client preference. We also provide sorting services in the vineyard, ensuring that only the most pristine fruit is delivered to the winery.