2011 veraison status

A row of Aglianico vines with clusters.

A row of Aglianico vines with clusters.

After three years of work and ups and downs, there are finally clusters hanging on my vines. It’s been an imperfect year, with a wet winter and spring conditions that resulted in uneven fruit set.

Two Aglianico vines are struggling for different reasons, so I cut their flowers and fruit to let them catch up.

All in all, I should be able to make a few gallons of Aglianico this year, barring any unforeseen events – in the vineyard and in the family.

In the last few days I have conducted a survey of the vines and obtained a count of clusters on each vine, separating them into five categories or ripeness. Based on this information I hope to:

2011 cluster status by vine.

2011 Aglianico cluster status by vine.

  • determine if I need to drop any clusters
  • make decisions about leaf pulling
  • approximate the amount of wine I can make this year

Below is a gallery of photos illustrating the range of ripeness on my vines. This corresponds to the categories used in my chart.

From these photos, a good amount of powder mildew seen on the canes, but I’ve been able to avoid loosing any fruit. While I’ve been lucky in dodging serious diseases so far,  I have fallen behind in weed management.

All clusters are green on this vine.

All clusters are green on this vine.

Another vine with mostly green clusters.

Another vine with mostly green clusters.

A vine with mixed clusters - some dark, some mixed and some green.

A vine with mixed clusters - some dark, some mixed and some green.

Mostly dark clusters on this vine.

Mostly dark clusters on this vine.

A vine with mixed color berries.

A vine with mixed color berries.

Another vine with mixed berry clusters.

Another vine with mixed berry clusters.

A vine with most clustes having dark berries.

A vine with most clusters having dark berries.

Another vine with mostly dark berries.

Another vine with mostly dark berries.

A vine with all clusters with dark berries.

A vine with all clusters with dark berries.

One of the main problems with goblet training is shading of fruit. New canes are lifted over the head, crossed and tied to the post. This places the canopy (in a goblet, or tulip shape) above the fruit zone. In high-vigor situations, the canes continue to grow, reaching about 10 feet in some cases. These long canes can intertwine with those of adjacent vines. More frequently, though, they hang back down over the other side and end up shading the fruit.

This limits air flow and can make the clusters susceptible to mildew. Additionally, fruit needs some sun exposure to ripen. The simple solution here is to pull leaves and expose the fruit. Below, are some photos and a short video demonstrating how fruit can be exposed to the sun:

A vine with mostly green clusters, before and after leaf pulling.

A vine with mostly green clusters, before and after leaf pulling.

Another vine before and after leaf pulling.

Another vine before and after leaf pulling.

Finally, a few of the ripe clusters also caught my eye because they look to have insect or bird damage:

A seeping berry. Is this insect damage?

A seeping berry. Is this insect damage?

A couple of clusters also look as if they’ve had berries plucked from them.

A cluster with a bit of shrivel appears to have had some berries plucked from it.

A cluster with a bit of shrivel appears to have had some berries plucked from it.

Another cluster whit missing berries.

Another cluster with missing berries.

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About SUAMW

Father, husband, physician, amateur guitarist, wine lover, wine writer, wine grower and wine maker trying to do it all within eye shot of downtown Los Angeles. http://www.shutupandmakewine.com http://twitter.com/Dr_Arthur_P
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