bud break

11 Water Conservation Tips from Gantz Family Vineyards

While growers around the Russian River Valley have been greeting each other with, “Pray for rain,” for a while, the drought is now becoming a concern for all Californians. With the drought obvious every time we look out a window – we have almost no cover crop and very little green growth in our yard to help with soil retention – Gantz Family Vineyards has been doing what we can to conserve water. Here are some tips that have worked for us and might work for you, too:

Bud Break: Step Three of Our First Growing Season

The first time I saw one bud open, on April 4, I was ecstatic. "We've got bud break!" I shouted. But Clay, ever the pragmatist, felt we couldn't "call" it until 50 percent of the vines showed leaves. From that first moment to the 50 percent mark was about an hour, it seemed. Suddenly the entire vineyard was a sea of green.

Establishing a Cover Crop: The First Step of Our First Growing Season

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.