Alan Baker
June 22, 2010 | In the Vineyard | Alan Baker

Warm weather in the Russian River Valley has the Pinot catching up fast

I found myself out in the Russian River Valley today so I swung into Floodgate Vineyard to check on the Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer blocks. After a slow start to the growing season with late rains and cool temps through May and into June, we are now catching up with mid eighties in the daytime. The overnight temps have also been quite warm compared to normal so we're gaining some ground back towards normal. These two pictures are from our block of 777 Pinot Noir.


One thing that the abundant rainfall has given us is a lot of canopy growth. The vines are already well above the top trellis wire in many rows. The clusters look to be medium sized and fairly uniform. The slight berry size variations should even out as the season progresses.

Fruit set looks good in the Pinot Noir and maybe slightly lighter than normal in the Gewürztraminer due to rains that fell during bloom. This lighter set might be a good thing since loose clusters are much less likely to have mildew problems.
Leaf pulling is mostly complete in the Gewürztraminer block.

Below is the Pinot 777 block which goes into the C. Donatiello Floodgate Vineyard designate Pinot.


This is such a beautiful vineyard. I'm glad I have reason to visit more frequently now that there are decisions to be made.

- Alan


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