Jay Schuppert
February 26, 2015 | Jay Schuppert

Innovative Farming in Our Spire Pinot Noir Block


Being farmers, we accept that Mother Nature will throw us a curve ball every now and then. With our 36 year legacy of farming our Carneros Estate Vineyard, along with Winemaker Steve's expertise, we are positioned to optimally handle just about any agricultural challenge headed our way.  

Over the past few years, Winemaker Steve Rogstad has observed signs of a developing grapevine trunk condition in our prized Spire Pinot Noir block. When the condition (called Eutypa) is left unmanaged, it has the potential to cause a decreased yield, and interfere with the vine's ability to properly ripen fruit, therefore compromising quality. 

Steve has chosen an uncommon yet highly innovative and sustainable solution to overcoming the trunk condition, ensuring our Spire block will thrive for many years to come.

Without getting too technical, for the past three years Steve has carefully trained an off-shoot to evolve into what will become the vine’s new trunk. And just last week, his vineyard management team removed the parts of the trunk that have been affected by the
condition. The new shoot will begin to bear fruit this year, and while the yield will be 25-30% less, we anticipate the same high quality and elegant wine we have grown to expect in years' prior.

This is one of many examples of how Steve has resourcefully approached a vineyard management challenge, exemplifying our commitment to innovation, sustainability and uncompromising quality. 

Photo at left: Sharp cut across the top of the main trunk and the newer off-shoot being trained up from the base. Photo at right: Tractor carrying away a load of vines).  



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