Tod Mostero, the director of Dominus Estate, tells James about the challenges of 2019's "really rainy year," compared with 2018, which was much drier, resulting in an easier harvest.
Most of the rain in 2019 came from January through April, Tod said, leaving "really wet soils and a lot of vegetative growth, which meant a lot more work in the vineyard." Tod then made the decision to open up the canopy to let the sun shine in, taking the risk that the exposed vines could be less resistant to the sun and heat.
But what he learned, he said, "is that by removing foliage early and letting the sun shine in the canopy, the grapes get accustomed to sunlight and so during a couple of heat spikes ... the vines that had their their canopy opened up resisted perfectly and there was no damage."
"When you open up the canopy and you expose grapes early on, the skins developed a thick sort of coating to protect themselves, and so those berries were beautiful and nice," he said, as opposed to vines that had a lot more foliage, which ended up "blanched" after they had been exposed to sun during the heat spikes.