Good Fruit Grower

September 2016

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Page 26 of 55 Good Fruit Grower SEPTEMBER 2016 27 "It will take a few years, and a little bit of winemaking to figure this out, to see which ones are giving us what we want," he said. Testing new methods Before planting, Martin and Roser elected to rip the soil underground with a wing-tine ripper to establish the root zone, set at a depth of 28 inches. That meant they fought weeds heavily the first year, so a cover crop of sweet peas and Yamhill wheat has been planted between rows for weed control. The vineyard also makes use of a hydrocooling system, an idea employed in some areas of California. One line affixed to the trellis supplies irrigation water from two wells on the property, as well as fertigation, while another line sup- plies water for misting under the same pressure. Roser, who has worked previously with wineries in California, said he had tried misters there on a couple of projects to help cool fruit on the hottest days. The same tactic can be employed in Oregon, he said, noting that the misters played a huge role last year with the high temperatures. "I find I can drop the temperature of the vineyard down to the low 50s, and just mirror that coastal influence they get down in California," he said. Martin agreed. "Last year, it was crazy heat. The crop came on early. We showed no signs of sunburn. We saw really robust berries. No dehydrations," he said. "Usually young plants are not going to be able to produce fruit of that kind of quality." Last year, they harvested their first crop, 7 tons. They plan to plant the remaining 300 acres over the next 10 years — roughly 75 percent of it is already staked — which will increase production by another 135,000 cases, Martin said. It's slow going, after the "last painful two years of trying to get large enough production to cover your overhead," he said. "But from our first harvest, the wines are all tasting like $50 to $70 Pinot. It's more extracted, has a darker, richer color. Overall, we think we will have a great addition to the Oregon story of Pinot Noir." • Last year's harvest came in at 7 tons. "From our first harvest, the wines are all tasting like $50 to $70 Pinot," Martin said. At left, Roser assesses post-bloom quality of this season's crop in late May. IF YOU SHARE OUR COMMITMENT TO QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS AND CUSTOMER AND CONSUMER SATISFACTION, PLEASE CONTACT ONE OF OUR PARTNERS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GROWING WITH US. | 151 Low Road • Yakima, WA 98908 | 509.966.1814

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