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Spring is officially here! The fields are finally dry enough for us to get out into, which is a good thing, since the vines are growing quickly and changing everyday. It is hard to believe that in just 6 short months, this year’s vintage will be ready to harvest! Stay tuned as we share the fun of another growing season!
The Bogle Family & Staff
All winter the vines are solitary and spare, quiet in their dormancy of winter hibernation. Little affects their stoic rest: not rain or wind, nor anything this dramatic winter season could throw at them this year. They patiently endure the unforgiving pruning away of old canes, the shaving off of last year’s hard working vines. And then…
BOOM! One day, a tiny glint of green and gold catches your eye. In an instant, the vineyard’s silence is transformed into a symphony of millions of tiny buds breaking forth to illuminate the landscape and touch the sun.
For our Home Ranch Chardonnay, March 7th was the day our first bud seemed to emerge and the slumbering vines shook off their winter wait to embrace another year. Our first bud was named by two of our followers on social media, so we’ve been watching “Delta” as she has grown exponentially since her birthday nearly a month ago. In fact, in the earliest days, the vines grow so quickly, it is actually measurable from dawn to dusk with the naked eye.
Though spring has arrived, there are still dangers for our little Delta out there. Gusty winds can tear tender shoots from their canes, while a violent hail storm can do untold damage at this stage of development. And an early morning frost, so spectacular to view, can be deadly to fragile growth. So we cross our fingers through April, until the warmer and calmer weather of May arrives.
Each Thursday, we will be taking pictures and documenting Delta’s growth on our social media sites. We encourage you to follow along and watch as this tiny little bud grows up to be part of your favorite glass of Chardonnay…vintage 2017.
Pictured above: Delta, the Chardonnay bud, March 7, 2017.
In 2006, Bogle winemakers spent quite a bit of time on the road. Having outgrown our small location in Clarksburg, wine was being crushed in Monterey, barrel aged in Livermore and bottled in Sonoma. Ever the pragmatist, Patty Bogle did something most ranch owners haven’t: she bought a Toyota Prius.
Winemaker Eric Aafedt, one of the road warriors at the time, recalls being non-plussed at the purchase. “A Prius? I get to spend my days in a car that looks like a wedge of cheese?” Very quickly though, Eric became a convert to enjoying the low emission, high mileage hybrid vehicle. “I was surprised at how comfortably it rode, especially with all the time I spent in it.” Eric found himself easily putting 500 miles a day on the car, all on less than one tank of gas. “It really was the best way for us to get to where we needed to be, and to do so efficiently and sustainably,” says Eric, “I only had to endure a few cracks about the ‘little car’ I drove, but it didn’t last too long.” For several years, Eric actually averaged three days a week or more on the road. By 2008, the car had accumulated over 130,000 miles!
Though the Prius has largely been retired from its long haul days, it is still Eric’s ride of choice when running to the taco truck for lunch or out to a local ranch to check a vineyard. And despite a bit of chipped paint on the roof, it’s still looking pretty good.
Pictured: Winemaker Eric Aafedt lounges against his favorite ranch rig, the Prius.