After four years of anticipation, Gantz Family Vineyards will see its first grape clusters grow to ripeness and be harvested this year. Our Pinot Noir babies will finally step out into the world and become part of a renowned wine we will be happy to name the instant all the details are worked out. We will be chronicling our first growing season and harvest, so please check back often so you can join us on this exciting adventure.
STEP 1: THE COVER CROP
We've already taken our first step toward a healthy growing season by establishing a cover crop between our 109 vine rows. Located in the six feet between rows, the cover crop helps to reduce erosion, eliminate weeds, add nutrients to the soil and provide habitat for beneficial insects.
The rows of our cover crop alternate between a pea-and-bean mix and grasses sprinkled with California poppy. The leafy pea-and-bean mix will introduce additional nitrogen once it is tilled into the soil. We hope the poppies will create a pretty scene on the vineyard without attracting gophers. We planted beautiful crimson clover last year, but it was highly attractive to our problematic gophers and its height trapped cold air in the field and created some frost issues.
Pruning, when the wiry canes are shorn back and positioned to encourage bud activation, is occurring all over the Russian River Valley. But our delicate little canes will not be pruned until late-February, according to our vineyard manager Ulises Valdez. Pruning later will keep precious new shoots safe from spring frost.