Things are getting real! Last month there were a few signs of potential clusters but nothing like now. Several of the varieties (Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch, & Riesling) had dozens of flowering clusters on them and we are getting excited about that potential come this fall.
Some of the Zweigelt especially had way more potential clusters than we think the vines can/should handle. I spent a fair amount of time dropping clusters on those vines that appeared to have the heaviest amount. In few weeks we will make another pass through and drop even more clusters as there is no need to over-crop the young vines this year.
Those two sets of catch wires we added a couple of years ago are finally being put to use. Several of the Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch, Riesling, and Gruner Veltliner vines have grown upwards enough that I needed to do a little shoot positioning and work them in between the parallel wires to keep them from falling to the vineyard floor.
The ever present weed problem needed to be dealt with this trip as well. While the vetch looks good and is a beneficial planting for the soil it was taking over some of the vines (especially the ones that were a little on weak side).
If vetch only grew on the ground we would keep it as a permanent cover crop but it loves to grow up and around the vines so we removed that which was under each fruiting wire. I’d still like to come up with a better cover crop solution that is actually beneficial to the soil and provides an environment that attracts beneficial insects but this year doesn’t like the year we will get that in place.