The heavens finally broke through with lots of rain for all of us here in California.
At the Chateau Margene estate winery, we were 50% above historical average and 70% over the last four years’ average. The rains came at a great pace to allow for the vineyards to let it soak in between storms. The entire soil profile has been flushed of salt build-up and the cover crops, (barley, peas, oats and bell beans), exploded with growth. The vineyard dried out enough in the week of March 10th so we could get the tractor in and mow. All these nutrients will feed back through the soil and provide a lot of the vines’ nutritional requirements.
We are expecting the vines to come out charging this year and will probably need to make a few more passes this Spring to manage the canopy. Great expectations! Pruning happened March 17th and bud break should be the first or second week of April.
Stella’s Vineyard, (our back 3.4 acres), will be fully online this year with two clones of Cabernet Sauvignon (4 & 7) and Cabernet Franc clone 4. Starting in 2018, all of Chateau Margene’s wines will be estate grown right here in the Creston District AVA. The Pinot Noirs from both Mooney Family and El Pistolero will continue to come from the Santa Lucia Highlands and the El Pistolero and Roxo Port Cellars Bordeaux varietals will come from the Paso Robles AVA.