As much as we like to hear the term “hands-off” vineyard management and winemaking, let’s face it, that will never be 100% true. Vines have a natural tendancy to sprawl and crawl—they don’t know they’re supposed to make balanced wine. And, so, we study canopy management.
Rootstocks. Not all vines are planted on rootstocks, but the vast majority of them are. While the original reason for using rootstocks was to prevent agains phylloxera, today there’s a wide range of rootstocks that can influence vine—and grape—characteristics. As mentioned in Dealing with Pests, most rootstocks are hybrids, today bred to take advantage of some useful qualities of both parent species.
Happy weekend my friends. I’m going to keep my intro here pretty short because, as you may or may not know, tomorrow is my birthday. My birthday present: sitting my first WSET Diploma Exam. Wish me luck.
For those of you following along on my WSET Exam-Type Questions series, never fear. These will continue for a few more weeks, as I’ve written out several that still need to be posted.
I covered details in a few of these stages in previous posts (Please see Flowering and Fruit set, and Ripening.), but as I approach my exam in just a few days, I realize it may be helpful to have a consolidated list that covers each stage of a vine’s growth cycle to put those other posts into a broader perspective. Hence, the impetus for this post.
I always love when I discover new-for-me wineries. But in this case, it’s pretty much a new-for-everybody winery.
You may have heard of Delfino Farms, they’ve been around since the 1960s (under the name Kids Incorporated until 2017). Edio and Joan Delfino founded the business, along with their seven children. Today, second generation Chris Delfino and his four children, Christine, Peter, Benjamin, and Derek own and run the family enterprise.
So, where does wine fit in? According to the Delifino family, founder Edio grew up amongst the vines of St. Helena, studied agriculture in Cal Poly, which is what ultimately brought him to El Dorado County, where the family farm thrives today. Up until recently, it’s been all about apples—fresh apples, apple pie, apple cider. But in 2018, the Delfino’s celebrated their first vintage of wine grape harvest—an occasion that also celebrates the return to the family’s “original” agriculture endeavor. “Dedicated to our hardworking, intelligent, strong, sharp, and driven father and grandfather, Edio Delfino, an inspiration to his entire family.”
Thank you to Christine and the whole Delfino family for sharing this first vintage with me.