Vineyard Update, June 2022

With summer upon us, the vineyard crew is working as fast as possible to keep up with our growing vines. The main task on their plate right now is leafing—going vine by vine and selectively removing leaves. Leafing at Pinot Hill is almost done, and continues at Hallberg Ranch.

Several clusters of young Pinot Noir grapes on the vine in early summer. The grapes are still green; veraison won't put the red in their skins for another few weeks.We remove leaves to create dappled lighting so that the grapes mature in shade, free from sunburn but with good airflow around the clusters. To do this we remove leaves from right around the clusters, from the middle of the vine. This creates a space where the leaves are removed around the fruit while still shading them from the afternoon sun.

Once leafing is finished, the next step is thinning the fruit. This is a matter of quality over quantity, as vines typically set more clusters than they have the resources to develop into fine wine grapes. Less fruit on each vine gives the remaining clusters space and energy to ripen the grapes to our standards. This has to be done before veraison (or when the grape skins take on their final color, in this case red).

In short, busy times ahead in the vineyards as we watch the clusters size up and become what we hope is a beautiful harvest. In the meantime, cheers to summer! We’ll keep you posted.