March 20th, 2023
With all the rain this winter, there have been two things I have been hearing a lot. First, I hear my three year old singing, "It's raining... it's pouring..." on repeat. The second is people asking, "What does all this rain mean for this harvest?" Well, there is still a long way to go for the 2023 harvest and it could be drastically changed in a matter of days, but there are a few things that can be said about all of this rain (and snow!) this early on.
The timing is great. This is the best time to be getting all the rain and the couple days of snow that we got is not detrimental. The vines are still asleep for the winter and this will actually help keep them asleep until spring when we are out of the frost period. Also, our cover crop (the beneficial plants and grasses planted between the rows of vines) had time to established roots and grow before the downpours came so we didn't see a lot of erosion in the vineyard which kept our healthy topsoil in place.
It is great for our water table! It is obvious that all the lakes and reservoirs are now full, which is great for everyone, but this comes from the few days of torrential downpours when the ground does not have time to become fully saturated. When we receive consistent rain like we are currently getting then the water is able to seep through all the layers of soil. This helps replenish our aquifers for years to come and is flushing the soils as well. Over the years with minimal rain, the water will only reach so far down and will form hard salt and mineral layers. This will inhibit some of future water penetration until is gets a nice flush like what is currently happening.
All in all this rain is good for the vineyard. Keep your fingers crossed that the rest of the season goes smoothly, and hopefully that my son finds a new song to sing!