Winter at Elkhorn Peak
The New Year Brings New Beginnings in the Vineyard!
Happy New Year, friends. The new year means new beginnings at Elkhorn Peak! We spent the first day of 2021 in the dirt, ripping up an old vineyard in Block 7. After 25 growing seasons, Block 7 began to show signs of disease, and during harvest 2020 we yielded only one ton of fruit from Block 7, about half the normal crop size.
We use an excavator to dig out the old root systems. It's a lot of work to replant a vineyard, but it's necessary work. We have to maintain a healthy, fruitful vineyard so that we can continue to produce beautiful Pinot Noir. Check out this photo of Ken holding a 25 year old Pinot Noir root system!
We have a thick clay loam soil at our south Napa ranch, the soil here often "crusts" and can be very dense. So, after the vines are removed from the ground, we till the soil. The purpose of tilling is to break up crusted soil and stir in the organic matter and nutrient rich top soil to give the new vineyard planting a hospitable new home.
In the spring, we will replant new Pinot Noir benchgrafts into Block 7. We'll share additional updates and more photos this spring!
You may be wondering, what happens to the old vines once their dug up?
Well, most are chopped up and dispursed back into the field as mulch. But one vine was destined for something more creative...
Elkhorn Peak Wine Club members, Rich and Val, took a Block 7 vine and mounted it in their living room (an artist friend painted the logo). How cool is this?!