Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

The Zen of Pruning

Pruning is the major endeavor occurring during winter in the vineyard.There are approximately 1500 vines per acre and 6 acres of vines at Clos Electrique. That’s 9000 vines that have to be properly groomed by the end of February.In the course of pruning, one enters a personal space of introspection and when it tacks toward seeking the truth, well, one has arrived at the Zen of pruning.

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Winter at Cameron

The dawn of the new year at Cameron finds white fermentations still eking out an existence and Pinot noir slumbering in the barrel and dreaming of springtime malolactic fermentations. But the real action this time of year is indubitably occurring in the vineyard!

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2011: not a half acid vintage

The first bulletins from our cellar, as we press off red fermenters and watch (and smell) barrels of white juice begin to turn into wine, point to a possible stellar vintage. Ripe flavors and aromas are unmistakably present in the developing wines. Due to continuing fermentations in the cellar for the next several weeks, carbon dioxide levels in the winery are dangerously high. Therefore WE WILL NOT BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ON THANKSGIVING WEEKEND.

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Whey to go!

When whey is diluted to approximately 10% with water it becomes a potent mildew-cide. I sprayed our goat whey on young grape clusters shortly after bloom, leaving a couple of rows untreated as my “controls”. The results are unmistakable: the goats are saving my ass from the ravages of mildew.

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Clusters’ last stand

Last year (2010) nature combined with global climate change and brought us the latest vintage ever recorded in Oregon. The saving grace of the vintage in some respects was that the weather also sullied the flowering in the spring so that there wasn’t much to try and ripen. This year nature has again combined with global climate change and the predicted vintage will be even later than last year.

But this time there is also a bountiful crop hanging out there.

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Waiting for label approvals

Many wine consumers may not be aware that each and every wine package that they see on store shelves has had to go through a vetting process by a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department. Certain information such as percentage of alcohol, brand names and warning labels must be present in order to obtain an approval. With the thousands of labels that enter the U.S. market each year, the Treasury Department must devote significant resources toward the approval process.

I therefore greet with considerable dismay the continuing cutbacks in a “meat axe” fashion that the so-called pro-business party has levied against the federal government…

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Global Warming

So you don’t “believe” in Global Climate Change? Really? Which means that you are most likely among the ranks of those who don’t “believe” in evolution which necessarily means that you don’t “believe” in DNA or mutations. Ignorance must be a beautiful thing for the ignorant since it makes life so simple. Still I am amazed at the wholesale rejection of science by a widening sector of our country and even the vilification of scientists in the process.

But if you farm for a living, you cannot escape the effects of what is happening climatically.

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