Monday morning two days ago saw skies overcast with temperatures a balmy 40 degrees. Monday also coincided with the arrival of six carloads of migrant workers who were here to spend two or three days pruning vines in preparation for their winter sleep. Our small plot of Chardonnay was left untouched, since it is easy enough to do ourselves and also gives us an opportunity to see how the winter goes and adjust pruning accordingly as was (fortunately) done last year. However, “hilling” is always a good thing to do in these parts to give the root systems some extra protection.
Reflecting on this year’s winter, we looked back at temperature records. Last December 14 (7 days from now back a year) saw a low of 9 degrees, with minus 2 reached only 2 days later. Then right after the new year, we dropped to minus 11. I suppose that first cold spike was a harbinger of things to come, but who knew? Who knew?
As we reported earlier, despite a lot of anxiety things turned out pretty well in 2014. Not true for our wine growing friends in Michigan and Ohio who could use a mild winter to start recovering. Southern California was also blessed this week with a healthy storm, and we can only hope that things across the country will return to what used to be considered normal.