The Road to Great Chardonnay - In The Field
The winter is behind us and the vines got enough rain this year to get them through the growing season. We pruned as the rains ended and now the shoots are growing and the clusters have formed. Now's the time to go in and show some love. The vines grow about 3x more shoots than we want for the crop load we desire and we need to open the canopy up for air flow and dappled sunlight. Sun and air help prevent mold, which would ruin the crop. Getting some sun on the clusters helps further to adapt the grapes to handle some sun without burning. It also builds up flavor compounds. This year, we'll go for just a bit more shade as we aim for a more citrusy flavor profile in our Chard. That work starts in a few months as the canes get long and the canopy gets closed in again. That's right about the same time that i'll finish shoot thinning.