Dear Industry Friend,
Below is an update on some things happening out here at Cowhorn.
Grape Growing in 2016
The 2016 growing season at Cowhorn has been a long one, and one that is shaping up to be one of our best ever. We experienced our earliest bud break on record this year on April 8th and by the end of August we were at 2,195 degree days compared to 2,190 in 2012, which was also a great vintage. We endured some extended heat waves early on, but for the past few weeks have been resting easy at night taking full advantage of some cool fall weather. Over the years we have come to the conclusion that we have never made the mistake of picking too late. We are in it for the long run this year determined to keep the canopy healthy, boost photosynthesis and achieve full phenolic ripening.
One way to achieve this is by utilizing Biodynamic® preparation 501 in concert with these cool temperatures. 501 as you may know is ground up quartz found on our property that we mix with water, stuff into cow horns and then bury underground in the spring. We dig the horns up in the fall and then combine this mixture with water that will be sprayed on our vines. The recipe for an entire acre is an insanely small amount at 1/2 tsp. of 501 per acre. Remember, this is homeopathic farming at its best and the tiniest amounts of love can go a really long way. Once we spray our vines, the 501 will act like millions of tiny reflectors on the leaves working to enhance photosynthesis. We have seen tremendous results using 501, and have decided to be more aggressive this year by scheduling seven additional sprays that we will conduct throughout the rest of the season. In most years we only use it twice, but 2016 is telling us to step it up, and when Mother Nature speaks we tend to listen.
For several years now each June the folks from Rogue Creamery spend several mornings at Cowhorn picking Syrah leaves that will be soaked in local pear brandy, and then wrapped around wheels of their famous Rogue River Blue Cheese. The flavor is rich with grass notes, straw notes, mushroom notes and chocolate notes.
It’s been a great partnership for us so far. They share the same value for sustainability as we do, they work incredibly hard to produce world class cheeses and the 40,000 leaves they pick each June saves us a bunch of passes through the vineyard, ultimately giving us more time to drink margaritas.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some of your accounts have this cheese listed on their menus.
National Sales Manager
Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden