Keep updated on everything we document with our iPhones! You'll be able to see a little more in depth how we work on the tractor, build rock walls, sight animals, etc. We'll post our videos at no regular interval -- so it's best to subscribe to our YouTube channel "Amadorwine". Should be a good time!
Vineyard Work 1: Barbera Vineyard Drive-Through Driving through the Barbera Vineyard in Shenandoah Valley, Amador County, California. May 04, 2011 - late bud break. Testing this video here for our YouTube channel...more detailed videos later...Filmed on an iPhone 3G this time. Has your day been hectic? Here is one minute on the tractor overlooking the Cosumnes River Canyon. Up in the barbera vines about 375+ feet above the river at this point. Check out where we are in bud break. Enjoy and relax.
Vineyard Work 2: Using the Flail Mower A six foot wide flail mower implement behind our Kubota tractor in the Black Muscat and Barbera videos in May 2011. The grass is growing exponentially this year. Atop the hill in our vineyard, all the birds follow. This day (though not all were caught on film) kites, kestrals, buzzards, mallards, blackbirds, finches, hawks, and more followed right by my side to catch what's moving in the freshly cut weeds.
Vineyard Work 3: Budding & Grafting Grapevines Jim shows a bit about taking a Barbera bud and grafting it onto a Petite Sirah grapevine in May 2011. Note 1: It is best to graft once you know winter weather is over. In 2011, we started the last week of May, anyway... Note 2: Little rocks wedged between the post and plant prevent breakage and promote ease of grafting and other work through the year.
Vineyard Work 4: Crown Thinning (Suckering) Old Chenin Blanc Vines We crown thin, or crown sucker, our old chenin blanc grape vines to let enough air flow and sunlight in to keep the plants healthy. Jim demonstrates a few more benefits of caring for head trained vines. The chenin blanc wine will be back on the shelf in December 2011.
Vineyard Work 5: Cane Drop...Almost The vines are so far behind in 2011 - but the Chenin Blanc and Barbera crops are shaping up to be heathly. Where we are, the frost did NOT get us bad -- considering frost came the last week of May this year!!! Cane drop should occur during teh last two weeks of June this year (not normal). It's between 90-120 days to harvest after bloom, and bloom hasn't happened yet! How exciting! This is what farming really is, folks -- WAITING!
Vineyard Work 6: Grapevines in Bloom in Amador County Wine Country Check www.charlesspinettawinery.com for local AVA precipitation records and many other farming tips. Local Farm Bureau member Jim Spinetta narrates. The vines are so far behind in 2011 - but the Chenin Blanc made it through bloom before the one inch of rain the last week in June 2011. In the Shenandoah Valley of California AVA, cane drop has occurred, and bloom happened for its four or five days for each varietal, in overlapping days, during this period. We got everything hedged once again, and checked all our drip lines to make sure they are working. We've added hundreds of new plants to the landscaping out front our tasting room at 12557 Steiner Road. It's between 90-120 days to harvest after bloom, but that's just an average... We heard there was a foot and a half of snow added in Tahoe? Wow! Check back here soon for another video starring the fun and yummy chenin blanc and more, thanks!!
Vineyard Work 7: Hedging and Mowing the Chenin Blanc Vineyard 2.8 MPH, rabbit sixth gear, Chenin blanc, 7' mower, 520 RPM In our good old Kubota. The canes have finally all dropped (when gravity takes them downward) in the vineyard! And it's late July -- we don't even have any ripe tomatoes yet in our gardens. About two thirds of teh way through the video, you can really see the benefit of hedging -- opening the air flow of the plants up.
Vineyard Work 8: Praying Mantises and Monarchs Every year there is an enormous hatch of mantises at the hilltop of our Chenin Blanc / Barbera vineyard. This year, the hatch is delayed past the typical early summer time. I explain how mantises will stay on me when I am driving the tractor all day. I forgot to say how many egg sacs are laid on the grape posts -- it's like there's one per post in the vineyard. Amazing. One of my hobbies is to build butterfly / pollinator habitats in our county. Here's a butterfly bush with a Monarch that was dive bombing me on the tractor so I stopped. I think he liked the color of the Kubota.
Field Work 1: Honey Bees in the Cosumnes River Canyon While keeping our fire break clean, Jim finds a tree full of honeycomb on the South Fork of the Cosumnes River. The forest there is full of tiger lilies, dandelions, and all kinds of beautiful, especially lush grasses and wildflowers in 2011. The bees are not exactly used to being on camera, and it is a short interview.
Field Work 2: February 2011 Flooding - Gopher Holes in Vineyards
Thousands of gopher holes and other creatures' homes had so much water in them this year that during some of the storms, they would push water inches up out of the ground like mini Old Faithfuls. Here is a video from February showing just two of them. It was filmed in between enormous cloud bursts.
Winery Work 1: Chromatography of "Heritage White" Wine Here, Jim shows you how to perform a paper chromatography test, and interpret the results. If all goes well, and all converts from malic to lactic, this white table wine will have a butterscotch flavor. Enjoy, and learn!
Winery Work 2: Filtering the Dry Chenin Blanc
Visit www.charlesspinettawinery.com for dozens of illustrated stories about how to make a family winery work. Jim shows how to filter a dry white wine - our Heritage White - to get it closer "from farm to fork."
Winery Work 5: Lees Filtering the Rosé
Here we see Jim filtering our specially blended semi-sweet rosé wine. Note that the machine is on and pumping and those glasses of wine are staying still atop it! You can see how much the filter clarifies the wine from start to finish.