Happy New Year from the Vineyard and Winemaking team at JUSTIN! Even though harvest is finished – we just barreled down the last tanks of Cabernet Franc – the vineyard team is still hard at work.
January marks the beginning of the JUSTIN pre-pruning program. This is when the team begins to prune last year’s canes off of the JUSTIN vines that are head-trained and cane-pruned. Our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which were both planted in 1982, fall into this category. “By pruning, we can control the vine’s growth during each individual season,” says Vineyard Manager Paul Kaselionis, “We prune to increase air and light circulation in the canopy, which has a direct affect on flavor, color, and size of the fruit.”
Directly following the pruning, a small team follows behind to tie down the vines. Depending on the trellis system of a particular lot, the team either ties down this season’s canes (to establish the fruiting zone for this season), or ties down the cordon (so they do not flop onto the ground and remain on the fruiting wire).
Four blocks, encompassing 29 acres, of JUSTIN Estate vines are head-trained and cane-pruned. The rest of “The Ranch,” as the team refers to the entire 65 acres of JUSTIN grapes, is fully pruned. When the vineyard crew finishes the cane-pruned blocks, they will begin pruning on the rest of The Ranch. This will take between four to six weeks to finish.
Check back next month, when Production will start their annual weed-abatement program using our Pelenc Sunflower System.