Greg Schultz
 
February 12, 2016 | Greg Schultz

Third leaf

"Third leaf" is grapevine terminology for a vine's third growing season. In 2014 we planted nearly 2,000 Tempranillo vines in what we now call Glory Oaks Vineyard. During that first growing season, the priority was on survival as the young plants were taken from the controlled environment of the nursery and forced to acclimate to the hot Oregon summer. Thankfully, most made it. Then, at the start of 2015, the plants were pruned back to two-bud spurs for their second growing season. Again, the plants thrived, developing long canes full of big photosynthesizing leaves by which they strengthened and put down deep roots. Now, as the winter of 2016 promises to move into spring, we are planning our pruning strategy for our Tempranillo's third growing season. This is especially exciting for us, because a healthy vineyard will produce its first crop on its third leaf!

Dormant third leaf Tempranillo vines before pruning

At full production, 2,000 vines will produce 4-5 tons of premium winegrapes, enough to make 300 cases of wine. On its third leaf, experienced growers tell us a vine will produce roughly half of its eventual capacity so we are expecting 2+ tons of fruit for our first harvest this September. Over the next seven months, we will prune, irrigate, train, spray, mow, leaf-pull, tuck, take Brix (sugar) readings, buy bins, and pick--some of these activities we have done before; some will be new. We continue to learn what it means to be good farmers, as we move...

...one day closer to a harvest

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