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Time to soak up some sun!
By removing the leaves by hand around the fruiting zone (where the clusters are hanging), we can get good morning sun on the clusters. We?ll leave the leaves on the afternoon side though to provide some protection from the direct, hot afternoon sun. As Summer is upon us and harvest around the corner, leafing is like ditching the pants and sweatshirts for some shorts and a t-shirt! A good couple hours of morning fog is a trademark of the Green Valley of Russian River, so leafing helps our estate clusters bask in the sun as much as possible mid-day.
Ready, ?SET?, Go!
The signature of our June weather so far has been the wind. Temperatures are normal, but the winds have been fierce. Despite being blown around, our Ektimo Estate Pinot Noir has entered Set. The berries have self pollinated, shed the flower petals and caps and now are about BB size. Shown is the Pommard clone looking healthy and happy!
Recently added to our tasting line up, the 2016 Russian River "Pommard Clone" Pinot Noir is a tantalizing and elegant Pinot Noir. Guaranteed to light up those taste buds.
It’s time for the vines to focus their energy and growth to shoots in the proper fruiting zone. We desire uniformity and balance for our Estate Pinot Noir vines. The benefits of balanced vines will manifest themselves in improved sunlight exposure, cluster separation, great ripeness and ideal flavor and texture from every cluster on the vine. Suckering is the practice of removing new growth and shoots growing in the non-fruiting zone. These shoots will never yield clusters representative of the vine or of the quality we demand. Suckers often come from the ground, the trunk, or the rootstock and clonal plant material union. They may look like happy shoots, but they are not the shoots we want to nurture. Here is an Estate clone 37 Pinot Noir vine before (above left) and after (above right) being suckered. May.... here we go!
The results of a warm April with low rainfall are vines off to the races. You can see them growing right before your eyes!
The clusters look plentiful and have great architecture. Looking forward to what May will bring, but so far this would be considered a perfect launch to the growing season. Next stop - bloom!
A dry winter has us staring at extremely dry conditions this season, so the recycling of our wastewater from winery production will utilize scarce resources through the growing season. Fortunately our vines are not too demanding, and their thirst is satisfied far more easily than ours.
Despite a drop of only 15 feet in elevation over a distance of just under 500 feet from the top of the Ektimo Estate vineyard’s northwestern edge to the lower, southeastern corner, the difference in Terroir is clearly visible in the new growth. Colder air and more available soil moisture mean the vines in the lower portion are later to respond and in no hurry. The drier vines on the upper portion are off to the races and eager to respond to the recent warmth. The difference between the two areas of the Estate represents a week or two in terms of potential ripeness. Same day & time Southeast Corner left vs Northwest corner right
Lots can happen between now and September, but the uniqueness of the soil, clonal selections and microclimates should only become more visible as the growing season progresses.
Ektimo Estate Pinot Noir emerges! Despite some chilly nights, lovely weather during the day has caused our Pinot Noir vines to happily push new growth. The 2021 clusters, although tiny, can already be seen and the good news is two clusters per shoot abound! Feels like harvest will be upon us before we know it!