We are in the middle of a much needed rain which is great for the vines. The last few years we have received well below normal winter rainfall and this has required us to irrigate more frequently during the growing season. Irrigation is a normal part of our viticultural operations here in the Santa Maria Valley, but irrigation water cannot replace the purity of rainfall. We began pruning on January 4th and the men have been doing a great job. The cane pruned Pinot Noir is complete and we are now working in the Chardonnay. With the constant storms over the last week we have not been doing much more than maintaining drainage ditches and repairing equipment, but drier weather is forecasted and the clippers will be in full swing soon.
-Jim Stollberg, Vineyard Manager, Riverbench