Category: Viticulture

Vineyard Pond and Irrigation Water System

irrigation water lines run across each vineyard row and individual dripper lines run to each vine to ensure that the water goes exactly where it needs to go

Way back in 2008 we started this adventure with a dream of planting a vineyard, and in 2013 we finally planted it. This is the story of the irrigation – or life support – system of the young vineyard. Though certain sections of our vineyard may be dry farmed in the future, the vines started out as a mere 4 inches tall and needed a little help to grow strong. So, we built an off-grid irrigation system to support the vines while they become established.

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Grapevine Clones

Pinot Noir: Finicky Burgundian vine produces wildly variable, relatively delicate, potentially haunting essences of place.

– Jancis Robinson et. al, Wine Grapes

What is a clone? Why do we care? Which ones do we have at Terragena? Why?

young grapevine and its cardboard protector

young grapevine and its cardboard protector

What is a clone?

A clone is a cutting from a mother vine of a plant, and it is genetically identical to the mother plant. Sometimes the mother plant, or even just part of the plant, has a mutation in one or more genes, commonly referred to as a bud sport mutation. Sometimes these mutations are beneficial, and often they are benign or even deleterious. These mutations can from time to time lead to slight variations in vines.

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Grape Harvest 2012

In the fall of 2012, Chris and Justin (a member of the Terragena team at the time) drove the vineyard truck and trailer all the way to the Holden-Mapley Vineyard in the Alexander Valley AVA to pick Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon in the wee hours of the morning.

That year was outstanding for viticulture in almost all of California, and the fruit looked amazing. They picked grapes alongside a small crew of professional pickers, who are always much faster at hand-picking grapes than any of us amateurs. In total, they harvested about a ton of grapes, enough for two barrels and a little extra to keep the barrels topped off over time.

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