Saturday, April 11, 2009

Young Oak Vineyards - Volume 32: Tax Write Off Edition!

Hi all:

First of all,  we would like to welcome any new readers who have found our blog through our new listing of local blogs in the
                Palo Alto Weekly

internet website at the bottom of course, listed alphabetically.  You can see what great friends I have by scrolling down towards the bottom of the blog on the right side bar.  Then you can scroll back upwards and see a quick pictorial history of the establishment of our family vineyard.

While the newcomers are doing that, the rest of you are going to have a pop quiz on vocabulary from our previous lesson to see who has been paying attention!

Question #1 - What is the definition of a cordon.
Question #2 - Compare & contrast a spur with a cordon.

"What's that little Johnnie!  You don't remember what a cordon or spur is!  Didn't you pay attention when I explained that last time!  Johnnie, how many times do I have to repeat this information?"

Hey, there are only 40 school days left till summer vacation and boy, as a new teacher, am I ever ready!

Well, we had a wonderful time at YOV's 1st Annual Easter Egg Hunt today, with many of our old friends, new friends & neighbors coming by for great Peet's coffee, great Hobbie's coffeecake and great conversations!  Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather and wasn't up to getting any pictures.  But we did have a dozen youngsters invade the vineyard and find Easter Eggs a plenty.  Well, actually, our two dogs made a pre-emptive strike Thursday night in our family room where we were assembling the Easter Eggs and our losses were considerable!  The dogs are okay and our Egg hunters still had enough chocolate!

But the big story is that things are happening in the vineyard and I don't just mean Easter Egg Huntin'.  Some of the vines are starting to bud & leaf out already.  So, we are excited for another growing season after our winter dormancy!  I hope all is well with you & your families and that you have got your taxes done, ..., or at least filed your extension!

Wishing you well from down in my tax write-off, .... ah, I mean my, .. ah, vineyard!  John

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Young Oak Vineyards - Volume 31: Train that Trunk!

Hey, Happy April Fool's Day Everyone:

For the last week or so, we here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and all across California, have been enjoying a huge migration of butterflies coming from Mexico on their way to Canada.  As they fly by, I am reminded of all the constant little seasonal changes that are going on in the living things around us!

Another daily pleasure I have, is passing by this wonderful Pinot Noir vineyard on Concepcíon Road in Los Altos Hills about half way between Gunn High School and our house.  I believe this vineyard is about six or seven years old.  It is one of the vineyards that inspired me to take on my own vineyard project.

They have done a wonderful job of pruning over the years and I wanted to snap a few pictures for examples of how things should progress over the next three or four years on our vines, if we watch our
"p's & q's"! First look at an individual grapevine with its single mature, vertical "trunk" and the left and right "cordon" canes extending to the sides laterally.  Off of each of those "cordons" are about six little "spur" canes about three to five inches long.  Those "spur" canes are where the fruiting canes grow out from each year, budding out into leaves and fruit.

So, for this first and now second year at Young Oak Vineyards, we are just establishing that main
"trunk".  In the second and third years we will be establishing the "cordon" canes.  And in the third and fourth years, we will be establishing the "spurs".  Now, along the way we will be getting some fruit and we may be able to make some wine, but the emphasis in pruning for these first couple of years is in establishing the "trunk", the "cordons" and the fruiting "spurs"

As you can see in the last photo from my previous post, we are headed in the right direction.  And boy, we have really come a long ways from the planting party grafted clones in the picture below that!  Now, you will just have to be patient while we wait a couple of years!  ..........

..........  Oh heck, I tired of waiting!  I think I'll try to snag a bottle of that Pinot Noir from down on Concepcíon Road!  Here's to waiting!

Wishing you well from down in the vineyard.  And that's no joke!  John

PS-Hope to see you at our Easter Egg Hunt !