April 19, 2012
Happy Thursday, Wine Sisters! Spring is here in Napa Valley and we thought we’d share some images taken in the vineyards this past weekend.
After an unusually dry winter, local grapegrowers are welcoming a change in the weather pattern courtesy of the ebbing of La Niña, a periodic winter weather pattern which pushes drier air masses farther north into Northern California (as opposed to El Niño which pushes plenty of tropical moisture to our neck of the woods, often resulting in torrential downpours and flooding.)
The lessening of the La Niña effect is providing much appreciated rainfall recharging reservoirs and river for frost protection (sprinkler irrigation)— always critical at this time of year as tender shoots emerge and develop.
April showers also provide some stellar photo opportunities involving rainbows and wildflowers!
You’ll notice the plantings in the rows between the vines. These are called cover crops, and are important tool in sustainable farming. Cover crops, which can consist of clover, wildflowers or grasses provide chemical-free weed control, erosion control and a habitat for friendly insects. They are turned into the soil to provide nutrients. Different cover crops serve different purposes in a vineyard depending on soil, nitrogen levels, vine height and age and growing season. Cover crops are just one of the many tools in a sustainable winegrower’s toolbox to create balanced, healthy, happy vines—critical in the production of quality wines.
We think they look mighty pretty, too!
Questions about what’s happening in Napa Valley? Ask us here!