The Bell Wine Blog
Posted on April 7, 2015 in What's New
Anthony and I are about to head to work in Oklahoma for the next week, and before I leave, just a quick note to let you know we’ve gotten at least a half inch of RAIN since last night. The sound during the heaviest part of the downpour on our tile roof actually woke me up! Delightful! Puddles stand in the parking area and I’ll be checking the drainage creek behind the winery later this afternoon. Will the ducks be there?
Of course, the vineyards will lap it up – they are all growing at a rapid clip these days. Chardonnay has over a foot of new growth and the Merlot is close behind, as usual. As the sunning lizard shows, our winter has been sunny, warm and dry, leading to early bud break again, which will likely mean early everything again, right through harvest. Of course, our mega-drought is all the news covers it seems, and things are grim statewide. But Napa appears to have enough water in farm irrigation ponds and the local reservoir to make it through both this year and next. Vines simply don’t need the flooding water rations that almonds and rice require. And if we DO need to water, our vineyards use frugal drip irrigation, like most in the Valley. Napa is very fortunate that the boundaries of its watershed map and political map match; no one is standing “downstream”, with hopes there is something left. We’ll be cutting back like everyone, but happily, I haven’t yet seen abandoned vineyards that resemble the browned orchards laying fallow in the Central Valley.
Though the water in CA is a continuing concern, we’re looking ahead optimistically. The new Clone 6 Cabernet sauvignon vineyard on the southern property line has been staked and will be going in shortly. We are looking forward to showing guests baby vines and letting them see just how long that timeline is for their favorite bottle. Anthony says managing a winery is like steering the Titanic. Considering this vineyard won’t even come online for several years, I’ll guess the first bottles might be ready in 2022 or thereabouts. Don’t hold your breath!