Lambs in the Vineyard, Part 2
Part 2: Ange spends some time at Featherstone Estate Winery to find out about all the wooly creatures running around the vines. Turns out this four legged workforce does a top notch job of leaf trimming.
Ange: I mean this is maybe you could give our viewers at home a little bit of our reason why this is done, what is so important about making sure that the lower level of your vines are leaf free? Dave Engel: Actually, the idea—it is all about I mean is everyone says why great wines are made in the vineyard and it doesn’t just a catch phrases something. It is very important that we get as healthy of fruit to the winery in the fall as we can and one of the ways to do that is to try to lower humidity levels, right around the great coasters. Our biggest enemy that we fight in and with great production is Mildew we’re between two great lakes, we tend to have fairly humid summers here on Ontario and Niagara and we’ve got to be get those grapes open to air. Natural air movement, which will lower humidity levels and we want the sunshine to strike those grapes first thing in the morning so that it drives the dew off, it drives them out first thing and we do know that with direct sun contact to the grape skin. It does two things, it will actually kill my Mildew on the surface like a bleaching effect and we know that the sunshine on grape skin also amplifies the varietals character. So this is Franc if sun is allowed to strike the grape clusters it will actually make them more Franc like at harvest, it makes so when you want more so when without reasoning more like chardeneigh and it just amplifies there capacity we call it for the grape variety. So two things gets the humidity level down, gets the sun to strike the fruit very, very important. Ange: So we’re seeing here in the Cabernet Franc vineyard which is nice. The vines and they’ve grown really nicely. It’s been a good summer so far and as you can see from the grapes here they are green and a lot of questions that people have are you know what—how do you make red wine, red wine is it just red grapes or how is that happen and maybe you can tell us a little bit of a variation happens, you know the color differential. All of the grapes are of the green and then head into a variation. Dave Engel: That’s right great point. If you were looking at these even if you’re great expert you couldn’t tell me what are this, was the great grape or a white grape I mean you cannot tell this stage of the game? About the ripeness face starts about the 15th of August at our site here it says specific to warmer sites of course you’re ripening sooner. We’re it start so it’s cover is on and what will happen is they will start to turn from this green for red grapes they’ll start to turn red and it takes about two weeks to turn from completely green to completely red and then about half way through that variation period we will come through and remove any great clusters that are completely turned red. So those one is that are legging behind it’s about 10- 15 5 of them will be still green and that’s just because they were ahead of leader fruit center or something like that. And will drop them and they get drop it on the ground and our lead so that’s one we do our craft adjustments is then so it is very important that they be fully colored and have a deep color that’s again color is very important. Ange: Like survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest is grapes get the best wine and have the best grapes and then so guys go through after all this staining is done you go through and thin all the grapes so you have about one cluster per— Dave Engel: Right it’s about 20 shoots that are allowed from our the way we prune leaves about 20 shoots and we’ll leave about one cluster per shoot so. Ange: Excellent so you’ve got the sheep here for four weeks and you’ve got 20 acres. Dave Engel: Right and as you can see we’re almost there. Ange: Yeah. it’s looking good down here. Dave Engel: Yeah it really is that’s a – Ange: You do a great job. Dave Engel: And very even and I just walk along there and there are some panels in the very much in the center that they kind of get to quite late and season, like quite late in the 10 days. So we’re going to leave it a little longer I was noticing it last night they’ve got a little bit sloppy so of that and there is a little room to clean up in the middle. Ange: No sheep is work at thick around here. Dave Engel: Oh that style we want to work come on.