Please welcome my husband, John Manion, who is the wine maker and VP of Liquid Assets at Domaine de Manion. We have been on this journey together from the first idea of a vineyard, and what a ride it has been. John shares his thoughts with you, from time to time on our vineyard and wine making.
Hello, I’m the Vintage Vigneron, (aka the husband John) to provide an update on the wines and vines.
I’m just finishing up barreling the 2012 vintage and putting it to bed for the winter. Overall, it was a good vintage in both quality and quantity with our vines providing us with our second largest harvest at 600 pounds of fruit or for those that support the “farm to table” movement, that would be 17 cases of our estate Syrah wine. The Vintage Garden Gal and I typically purchase additional bulk grapes from local sources so we can make some interesting blends that include our Syrah. The annual output of Domaine de Manion has been steady at 35 cases for the last number of years.
The vines are now turning autumn colors and shutting down for the season. Syrah vines tend to hold their leaves the longest of most varietals so we won’t see naked vines until late December–early January.
We’re heading into our rainy season here in Southern California and the vines will be really happy to get a big dose of water as they ready themselves for the next growing season. I get concerned calls from friends (I think they worry that production will be down) when a frost hits.
Here is Southern California frost is not really a big concern because of our typically mild winters. Remember, grape vines are deciduous plants that evolved in climates that have hot summers and cold winters. The frost actually helps shut the root systems of the vines down and inhibits needless growth if it warms up during the winter season. We want our vines rested and ready to grow once we prune them in the early February time frame. The one time we don’t want the frost is after we prune the vines – that effects the budding process and does effect the production of grape clusters. That’s why we hold off pruning until we think we’re done with the cooler winter temperatures.
It’s nice to be finishing up the 2012 crush, reviewing the lessons learned from the growing and wine making season, and taking a little breather.
I’ll check in again when we start the pruning process.