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Bill Dyer
April 9, 2014 | General | Bill Dyer

2014 Season Begins

Another Napa Valley Cabernet season begins!  During the first week of April the vines at Dyer  Vineyard started what we call “budbreak.” This means the buds began to push out  leaves- the beginnings of shoots that will bear this years crop.  Since the last post we have had a little over 4” of additional rain, and we can once again hear the gurgling of Diamond Creek.  While this doesn’t end the drought for much of California, it is great timing for the Napa Valley.  The vines now have the ground moisture they need to grow their normal one-meter shoots by the end of May.  With water still an issue this season, it also helps that at Dyer Vineyard we selected a rootstock that is capable of going very deep to pull moisture that will remain a long time around the volcanic rocks that make up our site. 

Over the next few weeks any further storms will be welcomed but the bigger issue now is the need to be vigilant for any frost events that commonly follow the late season storm fronts that drop down from the north. Our Diamond Mountain site offers protection from most of these, as cold air tends to settle on the floor of the Napa Valley, leaving the hillsides a little warmer. However, once in a while the colder air is deeper to the extent it reaches our vineyard. Frost is made of crystals that can damage the tissue in the young shoots—our method of protecting them is to activate a sprinkler system that shoots a small spray right down the vine row. This prevents frost from forming on the vines. Even if the temperature falls below freezing, and ice forms on the shoots, they are protected against frost. Yes, this is counter-intuitive (and perhaps a subject for another posting)!


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