A Long Winter’s Nap

The vines are behind last year. Last year, 2013, the vines were behind the previous year. We are in our 16th straight month in which our average monthly temperature is below where the average monthly temperature was the previous year. Grapevines can show this quite well. I took a photo of my vines today, the […]

Harvesting Rkatsiteli in Napareuli, Georgia (Sakartvelo)


Under a warm sun, Kathy and I began harvesting in the original Napa, a small town in the Kakheti region of the country Georgia called Napareuli. Knowledgeable harvesters were in the vineyards at 6:00 am. By 11:00 am the sun was sharing it warmth. We were picking Rkatsiteli, the most planted white variety […]

Harvesting Viognier in Maryland

Kathy and I had an opportunity to harvest Viognier at Catoctin Breeze Vineyard in Thurmont, Maryland last week. It was our second harvest this year. Our first experience was harvesting the red grape Lenoir at Messina Hof in Bryan, Texas. The Viognier grapes were just a tad more challenging to pick. Because of their light […]

Redemption for a Grape Harvest

Harvesting grapes may seem romantic, but it’s work. Our first harvest was at a Maryland winery. It was a hot day and the sun was beating down on the vineyard as we began around 9:00 am. It took Kathy and me about an hour and a half to fill two lugs. Then we were put […]

Ten Degrees Colder and a Month Later

One of the reasons for a blog is to have a log of things that I’ve done or occurred in the past. Comparing the spring of 2013 to the spring of 2012, here in Central Maryland, one will notice two completely different late winter/spring weather outcomes. The winter/spring of 2012 was warmer than this year. […]

International Grapes in the Wineyard

Now that we are in Croatia visiting wineries, we’ve come across some different terms than those used previously. Grape varieties such as Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, amongst others, are referred to as International varieties. Previously I would refer to these as French vinifera, but I like the term international varieties because these grapes truly […]

Grapes Traveling

Harvested just a couple days ago, our Cabernet Sauvignon from Stagecoach Vineyards are in a refrigerated truck making their way to the east coast. I was curious as to the number of growing degree days in Napa. Data for Oakville in Napa Valley put the growing degree days over the 2400 mark. This is a […]

Almost Ready to Harvest

It is a bit more difficult to follow the harvest when it is a few thousand miles away. Growing degree days is just one measurement. In the Oakville area of Napa the number of growing degree days as of 10/2 reached 2344. Of course the number will be different from one area to another. Cabernet […]

2145 and Counting

2145 and counting. That is the number of growing degree days in the Oakville area of Napa. We are sourcing grapes from Stagecoach Vineyards in the Atlas Peak area of Napa Valley. Their growing degree days would be slightly different. We heard from Dave Zuchero, winemaker at Tin Lizzie Wineworks in Clarksville, Maryland, that the […]

Do Wine Growers Gamble?

We spent several days visiting wineries and vineyards in the Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Niagara Escarpment region of Ontario. Although growers were optimistic, they hesitated to fully commit to a vintage year. Paul Lizak of Legends Estate Winery in Beamsville shared that he was asked if he ever went to a casino to gamble. He responded […]