Winterizing : Tra Vigne Style

A lot of  post–harvest time has been spent among the vines or tra vigne as they say, getting this hillside in tip top shape before the Winter rains  Can’t let the rains take our luscious soil to the valley floor nor let our terroir escape so easily for others to profit .

Even sick vines are gorgeous in the Fall

From erosion control to fertilizing, these vines will go into dormancy in style. Marking budwood , cutting out dead/sick vines, pre-ordering rootstock specifically 110R from our favorite nursery NovaVine , and soil samples are among the last projects before these lady farmers go on vacay. Can’t wait for our vacation, what an emotional year and harvest , one that everyone involved will remember.

Marking prime vines for budwood source

Cover Crop Methods

Alleway in need of cover crop

Since 2011 was such a resource intense vintage, it’s just us ladies sewing all the cover crops and putting out the rain guards to keep this hillside from melting away. It is always a guessing game when to sew a cover crop when you want Mother Nature to water it. Just one storm might not be enough water especially if it is followed by 10 days of sunshine, the seeds might germinate but then dry up and die. This ‘when-to-sew-a-cover crop’ problem among other issues  are the woes of the farmer trying to be efficient as possible without having to repeat any steps already completed. As the saying goes “measure twice cut once”.

Rice hulls and Pathway Cover crop

Rice hulls and a permanent pathway cover crop will now adorn all the alleyways between the vineyard blocks throughout the 22 acres. All sewed by hand because that’s how you take care of business on an extreme hillside vineyard.

For the vineyard rows , the legume cover special

In the vine rows we are sowing a legume cover crop called Legume Cover Special  (Bell Beans, Dundale Peas, Magnus Peas, and Common Vetch) courtesy of LeBallisters to add organic matter, break up some of the rock (if possible) , and fix nitrogen. As farmers, we are concerned with adding too much nitrogen , however, nitrogen from a legume cover crop is a safe option .

Fertilization and Soil Ammending

Can’t forget about the other parts of NPK , essentially  P (Phosphorous) and K (Potassium). Hossfeld vineyards implements a lot of other nutrient and soil enriching techniques in the vineyard including the use of worm castings, Mychorrizal, and the help of microorganisms.

Feeding time for the worms

We believe in the benefits of microorganisms as well as Mychorrizal in our vineyard and organic gardens. We will do anything to add more topsoil to this pure bedrock vineyard , literally we have 5 inches of topsoil and that’s it!

Mychorrizal ammending the soil

We hope that this synergy of organic and tried-and-true techniques will  carry us into an epic vintage, namely 2012. Below is a favorite farmer in the valley, George Thomson of Thomson Vineyards , he definitely knows how to attract beneficial insects and butterflies.

Butterflies always know a good farmer when they see one

Cabernet Sauvignon Second Crop For Sale

For all those looking to buy more  winegrapes, our second crop is looking ripe for the picking. With the lack of rain in November , these grapes could make a difference for those wanting to add a little mountain fruit to their wine programs. Better act now, because Winter is coming fast.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and a happy holidays. Cheers from Hossfeld Vineyards!

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