True to the adage, April showers brought May flowers — or, more specifically, May flowering and fruit set. Our team had the honor of spending one morning last week between the vines with Ned Hill, the expert vineyard manager responsible for the health and care of our estate.
According to Ned, the 2014 vintage is running about three weeks ahead of what we consider “normal,” and we should be expecting harvest beginning in early- to mid-August, depending on the summer weather. The various blocks on the Ram’s Gate Estate are in slightly different stages of fruit set, in which every vine produces the first tiny green berries of the year.
Fruit set is a delicate time in the vineyard, as any extreme weather — wind, heat, frost — can damage the potential harvest. Fortunately, all looks beautiful across our Estate Vineyards.
Many have been wondering the affect of this year’s drought on the upcoming harvest. A smattering of rain showers came later than normal this year, but according to Ned, “As far as the grapes are concerned, the rains came at a perfect time,” hydrating the soil without leaving time to dry out before flowering and fruit set.
We can’t wait to see what the next months will bring in the vineyard cycle!