Geez… 2020… it’s been a year, huh? “2020” really started in October of 2019 in the Texas High Plains. The past has never seemed so far away!!!
We spend a lot of energy focused on ways to improve and fix mistakes we’ve made. That’s great. Sure, we always want to become better. But it’s pretty easy to Monday Morning Quarterback stuff, too.
And in 2020, making it to 2021, or tomorrow, or just the end of the day, is a pretty big deal. And this year, we watched SO MANY High Plains vineyards do SO MANY amazing things. They persevered, pushed through the pain, and found every possible way to deliver with a smile.
Despite it all, we firmly believe that the 2020 vintage had all the hallmarks for world-class quality. The 235 acres we worked with were able to deliver 538 tons of REALLY AMAZING fruit to our winemaking partners. And we know those winemakers will deliver these gems through to bottling, with tremendous care and passion.
So in honor of our amazing clients, every exceptional winegrower throughout Texas, and f*&#ing 2020… we decided to declare “20 Vineyard Wins of 2020”. Because if the hard stuff is worth talking about, the good stuff is definitely worth talking about.
Here’s 20 amazing things we saw this season in Texas High Plains vineyards!
- Putting in the tedious work of counting buds on all varieties.
- Being open to adjusting pruning and training protocols.
- Leaving extra buds and extra spurs during pruning to increase yield chances.
- Reducing cordon extension lengths to avoid blind buds.
- Spraying copper in April to limit frost risks.
- Limiting shoot thinning to save wood for rebuilding in 2021.
- Hedging on-time and/or early.
- Leafing early in the season, despite the light crop.
- Keeping weed pressure at bay even though that’s an easy expense to cut.
- Not missing a single spray all season even though that’s an easy expense to cut.
- Still being willing to try new fungicide products and foliar fertilizers.
- Not over irrigating during the summer heat spells.
- Wineries doing everything they can to still travel to visit vineyards.
- Growers asking wineries to wait to pick when things needed to hang longer.
- Growers promising wineries to harvest very low yielding blocks even though picking them cost more than the yield paid.
- Over-communicating with winery partners to meet their needs as many, many blocks picked lighter than estimated.
- Applying post-harvest fertilizers ASAP.
- Being flexible with wineries on grape payments since many of them have had a VERY hard year.
- Keeping others, our families, ourselves, as safe as we could navigating the pandemic.
- Keeping that positive spirit and fight despite MANY reasons to throw in the towel.
Cheers, y’all! Here’s to 2020! And here’s hoping 2021 is a wayyyyyyyyyyyyy different season!