Hog Pen (the lower vineyard) pictured here and below was grafted over last year from Merlot to Syrah for us. We think this will be a great vineyard. The grafts generally took well and, as you can see, we have great growth. I don’t remember when the vineyard was first planted. I think it was 1996 or 1997. The rootstock looks solid and is helped by Steve’s limited access to water (and thus watering) I think this may be a near perfect spot.
Steve is clearly a great vineyard manager. He is currently experimenting with modifying his trellis system on the Potato Patch Syrah. The goal is to increase yields while improving overall ripeness with a focus on balance and finesse.
I think his idea (somewhat similar to a Lyre system with cane pruning if I remember correctly) will work well. Syrah grows vigorously and this approach will limit the amount of pruning that will need to occur to manage the canopy . It should also increase the amount of foliage getting light and increase air flow within the vines helping with mildew.
It will be interesting to see how his experiment turns out.
We have two barrels of the 06 Perli that will be held back for our new reserve program. Expected release date – August 15th 09.