Christmas has come early for me, as a very generous reader of winemakermag.com has given me a potential replacement for my deceased Mourvèdre. In a previous post I had outlined how I had inadvertently killed one of my four vines and was looking to replace it. About a month or two back I received an email that a reader wanted to get in touch, when we finally got in contact he offered me an extra Syrah he had in a pot from his plantings a couple years back. So about the time I was planting my little urban vineyard he was doing the same on a much larger scale.
It is good to see someone else so close by making a go of growing vines in the city. If my memory serves me correctly he had about three rows that I am guessing were about 10-15 vines long. Having considerably more vines than I, his system had full irrigation, overall a very nice and much slicker setup than mine. He mentioned his plan was to eventually setup/buy a proper vineyard and winery. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to chat too long as I had the family in tow for the pickup and my 3-year-old suddenly had the need to re-hydrate the earth, which meant the need for a quick departure.
The vine I received is a Syrah that has been in a pot for a couple years. The buds look very small in comparison to the Zinfandel and Mourvèdre buds on my previous vines, so we will see if they take. I will definitely check the cambium, the thin green layer just below the bark soon. If, after carefully scraping past the bark, there is green then I know the vine is still viable. Of course, last time I took a sharp instrument to a vine the outcome was less than ideal for the vine. If the cambium is green, transplanting will take place in late January or early February. If there is no green, then I will have to look to the Internet for a replacement, which can be tricky for a single vine.
In the meantime, Heat Miser (from “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” for the uninitiated) approves of the new addition. He will undoubtedly provide the usual “Green Christmas” here in Southern California and hopefully jump start the new addition this next year. Green or White . . . happy holidays to all!