Vineyard: Pollination Rows

A very beautiful, sustainable practice in the vineyard is pollination rows. This is something I just learned in the last year as my knowledge of this industry never stops growing, so I wanted to share about it as we are in the midst of spring time with lupin, mustard, and poppy covered hillsides.

Pollination rows are when we put in pollinating, native plants (wild flowers!) through out the vineyard. The mix we put down is allowed to grow for the majority of the season so the flowers can seed. This then becomes an open invite for beneficial insects such as the praying mantis and lady bug. These wonderful insects eat bad bugs such as aphids and spread the seeds into other rows of the vineyard. So, this creates an overall healthy environment for not only our vines, but the insects we love! Not to mention it’s absolutely beautiful. As you can guess this reduces our need for spraying, which always puts a smile on our vineyard manager’s face. The best part, since we’ve been doing this for years, is that it works very well. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Check out below the photos from last year that we submitted to the AG department. Thank you Linnea of our vineyard management company, Vineyard Professional Services, for sharing these!

Have a great Wednesday!

Cecily

Quick Fact: Did you know dust brings aphids into a vineyard (or crop)? That’s why we have signs on dirt roads that say speed limits in an attempt to control the dust. Aphids suck nutrients from a plant, which can stunt growth and wilt leaves. An infestation can create havoc and there’s only 4,000+ species of aphids. Cue the “More You Know” jingle.

Adelaida Project: Rain & the Bridge

Hi all!

Remember I mentioned rain in another post, well, we have certainly gotten that! In Paso Robles, we’ve gotten to date 17.40 inches of rain. It is truly amazing to see the hills green and the lakes & creeks full. In Atascadero, the small lake there is full again after years of dryness and the frogs were certainly happy. There was a ribbit symphony the other night when we drove by. So, a lot to be thankful for!

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The Adelaida creek restoration is looking wonderful. The water isn’t shooting down the creek like it did in past years and instead is trickling down to replenish the aquifer. We are so happy. The RCD and Conservation Corp did a fantastic job!

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Despite all the rain, the construction for the new winery is still moving as Rarig and their team work hard on days of “no rain.” The big exciting thing that is now on the property is the bridge! The bridge looks huge, but it is not actually finished as there is the stone work to be done. I for one am totally looking forward to seeing that as it is going to be gorgeous. Our architect, Shana Reiss, is very excited about the progress too (see below) as we’ve been working on these plans for years and to see it come to fruition is thrilling.

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The Bridge shows up!

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Bridge in place

 

Hopefully by next time I will have some other great shots of the project. Until then, try to stay dry!

Cheers!

Cecily

Conserving Adelaida Creek

Happy Friday All!

We are THRILLED we got our permit to go ahead with the Adelaida Creek Restoration!!! Wait, what’s this about? Well, it’s something very cool…

Upon purchasing our Adelaida property, my dad (David), was walking around and noticed:”hey, there’s a creek bed!” Prior to us putting in our vineyard, from the Adelaida Road you would have never known that it was there. This creek is actually where the Adelaida Creek begins and travels almost the entire length of our property!

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On our tallest hill, you can see the winding of the creek in the middle. 

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The beginning.

Every year when we receive our 1 downpour (that’s a sad CA joke), the water vigorously takes the path of this creek bed and washes all the way down to the Mid State Fair Grounds in Paso Robles, which is about 12 minutes from our Adelaida Property. I’m not sure how, but according to our local RCD, that’s the case. Not only is it a mess for the city, but it’s a waste of precious water!

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Dry grass, weeds, and my feet.

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We tried putting hay bails in the bed this last year to slow the waters, but they blew out with a heavy rainfall. 

After talking with a local biologist and Fish & Wildlife, we were introduced to our local Resource Conservation District (RCD) who shared that they could help us restore the creek. So, over a year ago we donated the creek bed to the County for restoration. This means with the help of the RCD and California Conservation Corps (CCC) we will be cutting down the weeds and planting over 600 native plants. The plants will help slow the creek so that any time it rains the water will not just race down to the fair grounds, but instead will percolate into the aquifer!

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My little fluff ball enjoying a run by the creek and vineyard.

Work has slowly begun as we wait for the CCC to return from Louisiana, but there has been some work started from the RCD and AmeriCorps Watershed Steward Program to take down the vicious star thistle (I can vouch it’s painful to weed eat). This is really a labor of love and I so admire the work they are doing and will do.

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Thistle.

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Philip (RCD Restoration Specialist) starts weed-eating.

In the future, probably next year, the County will be hosting 4 tours of the conservation project to the public. And once our tasting room project is complete, we look forward to giving tours as well.

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Another above shot of the Adelaida creek.

A huge thank you to Devin Best and Audrey Weichert for leading the effort and working with us! It has been such a pleasure to work with you.

Till next time,

Cecily

 

P.S. Permit for our winery project is almost there, we will announce once it’s in our hands.

 

New Varieties

This harvest was quite a season for our industry that had many of us on the edge of our seats. Harvest is generally “go time” season already, but with the weather being all over the place delivering cloudy skies with bursts of showers, hot spells, as well as the “shatter” development of the berry clusters which saw a decrease in overall tonnage…it’s been QUITE a harvest season! This does not mean the wine will be any less wonderful, but it just shows the fight that we have all had to put in.

For us personally, we saw a lot of grapes come through and it was an exciting year as we had some of our first harvests for our estate grapes in Templeton! We were able to harvest our contracted Cabernet Sauvignon, which was wonderful for our friends in the industry. Then we brought in our Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Grenache, which are now sitting in barrels.

I got to taste our Malbec for the first time and I was thrilled as I thought it was rich, had dark fruit, and held great potential. I have no idea what my dad and husband have up their sleeves for these varietals. I am personally hoping for some new 100% Bourdeaux wines, but I’m sure we’ll see some blends. I know for our wine club they are crossing their fingers for the come back of the GSM. I have a feeling that they will be starting on that in 1-2 years once we are able to harvest our own Syrah and Mourvedre (Sorry Erik&Hannah, Paul&Gina…others!)

We do have more varieties to look forward to in the near future and we are beyond excited about being 100% Estate wines. We will have more Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Petite Sirah. A majority of these grapes will be coming from our vineyard in Adelaida.

As I close, I want to thank our Harvest & Crush team for all they did this season as we couldn’t have done it without them…Dean/Vineyard Manager (who did a wonderful job with our vineyards this year), all the help in the vineyards & winery, Cyndi, Adrielle, Darron, Miranda, and my mom, Lynn (for the last, toughest harvest).

Feeling tired and blessed,

Cecily

Tour & Sip – First Glimpse of Adelaida

This past weekend, during Paso Wine Fest, we invited our club members to join us at our picturesque Adelaida Vineyard. It was a wonderful time of sharing two new wines and our future home for Parrish Family Vineyard!

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David and Lynn Parrish

First about the wines! The wines we released to our wine club was our 2013 Silken Blanc and 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 Silken Blanc is our first white blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Viognier. It’s a delicious summer wine that welcomes you with an orange blossom nose and a jasmine, fresh citrus palate with a hint of cream and spice. This wine will be available in the tasting room starting Thursday, May 21st!

The 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is probably better than our beloved, gold winning 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which is, of course, fine to have happen! It has a rich body with great structure of blue and black fruit such as blackberry, blueberry, and cassis. It was aged in new and neutral oak for 22 months…giving it plenty of time to develop its full-bodied character. This wine, while newer, is only going to get better with age.

2013 Silken Blanc and 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Silken Blanc and 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The wines accented the beautiful day and of course, the vineyard, which our club got to explore with a walking tour. My dad, David, began the tour with showing them the calcareous wall that will be a great highlight of our tasting room experience. For those not familiar with calcareous soil, it is from fossil shell beds. It becomes gold for vineyards when mixed with a top layer of clay. That is why you will frequently hear about calcareous from wineries because it is what makes vines flourish and fabulous future wines.

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Calcareous, Clay, Mix Display Box

David sharing about the planning of the vineyard and calcareous

David sharing about the planning of the vineyard and calcareous (just a peak at our calcareous wall)

Our club members were shown the view of the future tasting room and the blocks of the vineyard. The Adelaida vineyard is made up of 7 varieties, mainly Bordeaux grapes, that will become our Estate Wines. The Bordeaux varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Sauvginon Blanc. There is also a small amount of Zinfandel and Syrah. We are of course thrilled to be adding such fantastic varietals to our wine portfolio!

The blocks

The blocks against the view

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Club members listening and enjoying the view

David in the vineyard

David in the vineyard talking about spacing and maintenance 

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Club members in the vineyard 

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Club member, Katie listening with some wine

The show and tell continued with our talented architect, Shana Reiss, being present. She shared with our members through out the event about the vision for the future winery and tasting room. We are so thankful to have Shana apart of our team and for all her hard work she has done in the last couple years.

Shana with her plans

Shana with her plan boards 

Shana talking about the site

Shana talking about the tasting room site

Shana sharing with Tedde

Shana sharing with club member, Tedde, about the floor plans

Shana’s sister, Michelle, even joined us for a while and worked on pastel landscapes of the vineyard!

Michelle working on pastels of the vineyard

Michelle working on pastels of the vineyard

Pastels

Pastels

While we all enjoyed the education of the event, we also enjoyed the company, live music (with a little impromptu karaoke) with Richard Villanueva, delicious food, and great wine!

Thank you to our club members who came to visit us on Saturday. We look forward to many more occasions to celebrate with you!

Also, a big thank you to Richard & Theres Villanueva, Next Door Bistro, Wandering Cookie, All About Events, and our staff Cyndi, Noni, Adrielle, Shannon, Ben and our club member Diane who worked to make the event perfect!

Here’s some more photos….

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