Technique

Vineyard Winter Maintenance: Tips from the Pros

All done using their energy to grow shoots, grapes and leaves, vines in the winter begin storing water prior to the first frost and then go into dormancy. That doesn’t mean those who look after the vineyard lay dormant though. Peter Brehm is the owner of Brehm Vineyards and also grows grapes at his White Salmon Vineyard in Under-wood, Washington. He founded the retail shop Wine and the People in Berkeley, California. It is critical to put vines to bed in good condition, well nourished, and early. This will depend on the amount of time between harvest and the beginning of the cold season. In the Northwest we can be harvesting after the first snow, in Sonoma it can be many weeks before serious frost and cold. Milder climates should provide the vines with water and nutrients for the winter nap. This should not stimulate new growth but make sure the carbohydrate reserves are plentiful in the trunk and roots. In regions with early frosts and cold winters there may not be time for nourishment after harvest. It is important