2008 FARMING PRACTICES Characterized by low rainfall and a severe frost, the year’s erratic weather led to a variable Cabernet Sauvignon fruit set throughout the Napa Valley. The quality of fruit from Vine Hill Ranch was not heavily affected however, due to the nature of the vineyard site and proactive viticultural measures throughout the growing season.
Our focus was to eliminate unevenness in the crop. To that end, we decided to limit irrigation to late in the season in order to promote fruit ripening. In addition, we performed multiple thinning passes to remove unwanted growth in the canopy as well as fruit that was lagging in development. Several late season heat waves caused some berry dehydration, leading to another hand thinning pass through the vineyard immediately prior to harvest.
We introduced two new insectaries next to Blocks 1 and 4, and placed honeybee colonies adjacent to Block 6. Our continued plantings in the Hopper Creek restoration area stabilized embankments against erosion along this natural corridor.