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From The Vine

Winter 2019

Getting the vineyard ready for the season: time to prune

Sauvignon Blanc, San Mateo Vineyard, Rutherford Estate

When we spoke with Pilo Villanueva, our Crew Foreman, for last month’s Beet, he shared that pruning season is his favorite time of year. Preparing the vines for the growing season is hard work but it is the year’s first critical step toward healthy fruit, and ultimately beautiful wines. It will take our entire vineyard crew a couple of months to complete the daunting task, but it’s well worth the effort.

Pruning is the practice of removing the previous season’s growth from the vines. By removing canes and opening the canopy, we create the right conditions for achieving each vine’s desired fruit quality and quantity. It is one of the most important vineyard operations of the year and sets the growth trajectory for this season.

Typically we begin in January and continue through early spring. The timing is crucial as it must occur when the vine is completely dormant to promote growth and prevent disease.

METHOD

Pruning methods vary based on the type of trellis - the structure for training and supporting the vine - and because we use various trellis types for different vineyards and varietals, our team has become expert in numerous styles of pruning.


open lyre trellis, before pruning

In our San Mateo Ranch Sauvignon Blanc vineyard at our Rutherford Estate the vines are cane pruned on an open lyre trellis.

With cane pruning, the optimal canes from the previous season’s growth are chosen to be the new fruiting canes, and we remove all other canes. Our crew looks for healthy canes that will promote ideal fruit orientation with open clusters, even light, and airflow. Our practice is to leave four canes per vine.

With over 150 planted acres of vines, pruning is no small chore. It is time and labor intensive for our crew, requiring technique and skill. After many weeks of work, we impatiently await bud break, hopefully after the last frost, and the start of a new growth cycle

Follow us on Instagram @lmrwine to stay up to date with what’s happening in the vineyard. 

Cane pruned vine

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From the Team

Holiday 2018

Long Meadow Ranch Timeless Traditions

A few members of our team share some of their favorite holiday traditions. 

“I like to craft wreaths for the front gate and horse barn at the winery. I forage all the pieces from the ranch. It’s a very peaceful time for me, to walk the property looking for the right greenery, and gathering whatever calls to me. Then on Christmas Eve, I will hang a bunch of carrots on the wreath at the horse barn so that there are treats from Santa Claus in the morning for the horses.”

Laddie Hall, Proprietor

“I’m Mexican and English and my husband is German and Swedish. We do a German Christmas with all of his family eating dinner together with my favorite German treat. His mom has a Swedish Christmas gathering with meatballs and rice pudding, and everything decked out in red and white decorations. Then on Christmas Eve, we have Mexican Christmas at our house with tamales, enchiladas and lots of laughs and tequila. Christmas Day we have our English Christmas with crackers that we all pop to get our colorful paper crowns and wear them at dinner. All in all, my favorite Christmas tradition is celebrating all the ways our cultures eat and celebrate the gift of family.”

Becky Willems, Farmstead Bartender

"On Christmas morning my family and I start the day with mimosas then gather around the tree to open gifts. Later on, I go to the beach with a big group of friends to surf and we all wear Santa hats. At the end of the day, my family takes a ride down the PCH on our beach cruisers."

Kory Kovac, Production Coordinator

“My family’s tradition is simple but very meaningful. We celebrate Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. We get together to cook our dinner, tamales of course, and spend time with each other. Normally we go to midnight church service and then we go back home to open presents. Christmas day is very relaxing, we gather at the kitchen to eat leftovers and we always spend some time calling our friends and relatives in Mexico to wish them all a Happy Holiday.”

Jose Vazquez, Mayacamas Estate Host

“Holiday traditions for my family have always been a little out of the ordinary. I don't think a single year has gone by that we haven't sung Happy Birthday to baby Jesus in the manger of my mother's nativity set on Christmas morning. A tradition that I hope will keep on for generations! We've always valued time together so making sure we are with each other has been one of our most consistent traditions.”

Samantha Klee, Chef’s Table Server

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WHERE WE ARE

February 2017

ANDERSON VALLEY ESTATE

Our Anderson Valley Estate, in Mendocino County, stretches over a diverse mix of elevations with the Navarro River forming the southern boundary and cool sea breezes from the Pacific bringing the marine layer through our vines.

Located in the west or “deep end” of the Anderson Valley, approximately 100 miles north of San Francisco, our estate has 69 acres planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

With the Navarro River to the southeast and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, a natural marine layer blankets the vineyards and creates terroir ideal for our estate-grown Burgundian varietals to mature slowly and ripen to the peak of their varietal character.

The mix of elevations, natural mixed forest vegetation (Coast Redwood, native oak varieties and Douglas fir), and diurnal temperature swings consistently at 40 to 50 degrees, we produce wines from our Anderson Valley Estate that are driven by the personality of the terroir with the muscular tannins of the Sonoma Coast combined with darker fruit tones of the Russian River.

Anderson Valley has evolved greatly since the 1850’s. Once its mainstay, apple orchards have almost completely been replaced with vineyards that produce some of the world’s best wines. We are thrilled to be a part of this up and coming wine region.

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