An intricate summer dance

An intricate summer dance

Relaxing on the terrace, sipping a fabulous Oregon Pinot Noir from the Black Walnut Cellar, it’s easy to get lost in the seemingly endless vineyard views. Row upon row of rolling green vines stretch out before us, so vibrant in the summer sun, we can almost hear that canopy as it grows. It’s all so serene, so peaceful, that we often forget the tremendous work involved in growing wine grapes. No more so than in summer, when tiny tendrils reach here and there, waiting for guidance like small, willful children.

As the warming rays of summer sun beat down upon us humans, vines also feel the heat. Tiny grape clusters, recently formed and rapidly expanding, require a balanced diet of shade and fresh air when the mercury soars. Our vineyard crew rolls out each morning at dawn, hand-watering young vines, positioning new shoots as they soar skyward, strategically removing leaves here and there to encourage airflow, tightening the wires that hold these dear vines upright, and assessing the cover crops that help retain moisture and provide a home to beneficial insects.

A surprise to most wine lovers, this is hands-down the busiest time of year in the vineyard, with activity levels that eclipse even the endorphin rush of harvest. Nothing short of an intricate dance, this seemingly peaceful season of growth is comprised of countless movements — each of which will directly affect the color, aromas, weight, and endless nuances that come together in the finished product you now sip.

We watch with awe from our perch on the terrace, thankful for the precious liquid we hold in our glass.

All images by Aubrie LeGault Photography