Winter at Cameron

From John, December 31st, 2011

The dawn of the new year at Cameron finds some of the white fermentations in the cellar still eking out an existence, though many barrels have exhausted their sugar and are falling clear. Pinot noir slumbers in the tonneau dreaming of springtime malolactic fermentations.

Honk if you love Cameron!

But the real action this time of year is indubitably occurring in the vineyard. With temperatures during the day averaging in the mid 40’s, cover crops planted in the fall are making headway. Mustard which was sown in areas once planted to cherries sends its tap roots deep, spewing out allelopathic chemicals which kills residual nematodes. A mixture of clover was put down in areas of the vineyard characterized by low nitrogen content. Nitrogen fixing nodules will be working their magic when the soil warms in the spring. Buckwheat, planted in late summer to sustain our bees, has long ago been done-in by a late-November freeze. But the phosphorus that it assimilated is laying in wait for young vines that will be planted in April.

The chickens in the 3 mobile coops are on sabbatical from their egg laying duties. However, they continue to move up and down the vineyard rows spreading nitrogenous joy while they search for young greens and grubs. Meanwhile, sheriff Guido the cat protects the vines from voles and gophers. His is the work that never ends, much to Guido’s personal pleasure. We sadly report the loss of Guido’s long time feline partner in crime, Fiona (1998-2011). Finally, let us not forget the comedy team, Fois and Gras. Honk if you love Cameron!

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