Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cinsault in Spring

The Lodi/Woodbridge Irrigation District just began releasing the water today from the chilly snow melt running down the Mokelumne River. It passes through a concrete canal adjacent to the Cinsault vineyard, but as in past years, this vineyard won't see any of this water.

The soil that's been nurturing these vines for over 119 years (that's right, they were planted in 1889!) is a sandy loam, more common on the south-western section of the Lodi Appellation. This field was dry-farmed in the 1880's and is still dry-farmed today.

A first peek at our 2008 crop. With tight bunches, it tends to rot easily so it does best in drier climates. While Cinsault was officially sanctioned in Chateauneuf du Pape, it has since made a great home with us in Lodi.

Of the 25 acres farmed by Al Bechthold, we were able to stake a section within the northwest corner of the block recommended by Al for its most consistent and intensive characteristics. This field has yielded between 2 to 2 & one-half tons per acre historically. Since Al's backyard sits on this vineyard, he's always keeping a good eye on it for us.
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