For those of you, who like us, grow a few vines at home, we’ll be publishing a few tips on our blog on how we do things here in our vineyards. This post, we’ll cover some of the maintenance that happens this time of year, along with the beginnings of how we propagate vines.
Vine Pulling and Maintenance
We’re getting into that season where we’re thinking ahead to next year. In the vineyard, once Harvest is finished, we get lots of maintenance done, including wire repair, and pulling out any plants that are getting a little too old or unproductive. We make sure to keep an eye out for any vines that are not healthy during the summer, mark them, and we come back to pull them out and replace them.
We often tell visitors how deep a vine’s root system goes, and you really notice when you try and pull one up: this normally takes a tractor and at least two people to do it properly. You’ll see here that Kyle and Harold are working together to secure the vine for the tractor to rip it out.
Hooking on the chain.
On to find another vine to work on!
Now that the vine is out of the ground, we wait at least year for the soil to recover, and then plant the following spring.
Beginning to Propagate
Depending on the vine in question, we either order in vines from a propagator (oftentimes, vinifera and other vines require grafting to grow properly: an explanation for another time), or we can propagate them ourselves if we have access to the vines we’re looking for more of.
If we’re propagating in-house, which we are for our new plantings of Baco Noir, we head outside and start pruning! We clip off this year’s healthiest canes from our best plants, making sure that each cutting has multiple buds on it for new growth to spring from. We’ll go into more detail in a few months when we prune the rest of the vineyard.
Once we’ve harvested as many of these clippings from the vineyard, it’s time to store them! We’ll start allowing them to grow as we get into the spring, but for the time being, we need to keep them safe.
“Safe” means well hydrated. A dry cutting could freeze and die over the winter, so it’s very important to keep them covered, cool (but not too cold), and damp. There are lots of ways to achieve this, but we used large containers with layers of water and paper to retain moisture, and then sealed it all in with plastic bags. They then pack them away in the barn where the temperature doesn’t drop too cold in the winter months.
Cuttings all ready to go.
Packing them away all snug in their beds.
Ready to take on the winter!
We’ll revive the vines in the spring, and get going on planting shortly thereafter. You’ll hear from me again in a few months where we’ll pick up where we left off with our Baco Noir vines. I’d tell you more, but I’m learning this all for the first time too!
This year, we’ve already had two new styles of Chardonnay, our Vin de Paille, and our Woodside Sparkling, besides the return of an old favourite, our Reserve Chardonnay. We’re not done yet, however!
We’re very happy to release both our 2014 Riesling and our 2011 Late Pick Chardonnay Sparkling this coming weekend.
We’ve been working on a small plot of Riesling at the bottom of our Blomidon vineyard for several years, in an area very positively influenced by our Minas Basin tides. This is our first vintage!
100% estate grown, this Riesling shows aromas of summer flowers and citrus, with a spicy rose note that comes from a very small percentage of estate-grown Gewürztraminer from our Woodside Road Vineyard.
On the palate, the spirited acidity is balanced by a touch of sweetness, making this wine a perfect pairing for freshly shucked Nova Scotia oysters or a spicy shrimp curry. Only 19 cases of this wine were made, so try it over at the Halifax Market next weekend, find it on our shop, or add it to your cart right now.
2011 Late Pick Chardonnay Sparkling
This sparkler had the benefit of a long cool growing season, allowing the grapes to hang longer and develop in both flavour and complexity. Produced, as with all of our sparkling wines, in the traditional method, the 2011 Late Pick Chardonnay is our very first Extra Brut. Dry, light, and refreshing, this shows notes of crisp apple and lemon, paired with a creamy mousse.
As we approach the holidays, we’ve been gearing up our tasting schedule for a busy month! We’ll be out and about the Valley and the HRM area tasting a variety of our wines at various locations… and we thought we would let you know where you’ll find us in the NSLCs.
We’ll be keeping this list updated for you so you know where you can find us. We’ll also have another post shortly with details on our Halifax Farmers’ Market Tastings, and more!
As always, for up-to-date information, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.
This past weekend we had a wonderful time hosting our 2nd annual cyclocross race: CRUSH-CROSS!
For those that haven’t heard of this exciting off-season sport yet, this was originally created as a great way for road cyclists to keep busy in the autumn months. Road bikes are outfitted with better tires, and they take their bikes off-road, through snow, wind, rain, and mud. Check it out in the gallery below.
Our vineyard, post-harvest, turns out to be a fantastic place to build a course, so we are now annually hosting a race here in tandem with the NSSP Cyclocross Series. If you want to see this sport in action, or try it yourself, check out their Facebook page here.
We also found this great video, courtesy of “TheStudentCyclist” on Youtube, showing a warm-up run of the course. Was a awesome (albeit cold) day in the vineyard!
Thank you to our staff, friends, and many customers for your continued and valued support, our suppliers, partners, and clients, and to everyone who continue to recognize our commitment to producing 100% Nova Scotia wines.
The following video was presented at the ceremony last week as part of our award; thank you again to Taste of Nova Scotia for capturing what we’re all about.