Work in the Field at Virginia Winery
By Henri, our French intern – My second week at Doukénie Winery, a beautiful Virginia winery in Loudoun County, is filled with lots of little jobs that need to be done to maintain and take care of the vines, especially the new vines.
First, I worked on the baby vines. I put the wire down and I attached the iron stakes to the wire with the black clip (see photo). My hands remember that! This stake placed in the correct way allow the vines to grow easily. The vines are protected by a white cardboard tube. It is white because white is the color that brings the most usable UV to the plant. The two photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll and carotenoid, are used by the chloroplast in the cells of the leaves. And this protection is a physical barrier for the animals and weeds.
The next job was to clean around the trees hedge. Indeed, there were some big stones, old stakes, big roots and branches. So with the truck and the trailer, a shovel, a pickaxe, shears and a machete, the workers and I were ready to clean this up.
What’s happening with the grapes? After a long review, I don’t see a lot of diseases on the vines. This photo shows damage from the Japanese beetles. But we have stopped the invasion at this time. There is a little bit of downy mildew on the Chardonnay baby vines. So, when we see how many grapes are on a vine, we think that the harvest will be great. There are not many grapes per vine because the percent of grapes and leaves is equilibrate. It means that all the grapes could have enough nutrients, sugar and flavors. Actually, the Veraison starts everywhere. The Veraison is the beginning of the maturation.You could see it easily on the red grapes because the change of colors, like in the picture.
See you next week with more news from this Virginia winery, Doukénie Winery! — Henri