July 16, 2020

Summer 2020: Vineyard Update

While 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges around the world due to COVID-19. Some moments of solace have surfaced as the Virginia Wine community has banded together, sharing and savoring the familiarity of a local bottle of wine.

This support and sense of community has also extended into Virginia’s vineyards. Farmers around the state let their diligence lead the way as they faced a difficult start to the growing season. Daunting bouts of frosty nights brought crop loss this spring, marking the 2020 vintage with tales of grit and perseverance.

Now, as the seasons have shifted and summer growth is well underway, an eagerness for what’s next in the vineyards has sparked.

Happening in the vineyards now:

Row after row of green vines can be seen across the state as growers and vineyard teams prep and maintain their sites.

When asked what was exciting in the vineyards right now, Kirk Wiles of Paradise Springs Winery explained that in their Northern Virginia vineyards “…after the frost events of the spring, I am excited to see that we were not as impacted as we once thought. The crop is coming in strong and bouncing back. We even have secondary shoots and buds that emerged nicely.”

On the eastern side of the state, Chris Flemer of Ingleside Vineyards is preparing for and awaiting harvest. Right now, they are working in the vines and doing work like cluster thinning in order to ultimately see “the fruits of our labors.”

As vineyard management continues, here is some of the excitement that awaits.

Nate Walsh of Walsh Family Wines shares insight that, “Veraison is such a wonderful stage in the vineyard — it’s an interesting physiological stage of the vine, and also signifies when our hand work in the vineyard is more or less done — by veraison we have hopefully situated each vine to be best able to ripen fruit.” He goes on to add the vineyards are currently, “ very photogenic, which is nice, but there’s also a sense that we’ve just finished a long run and have a bit of a breather ahead of us, before it’s time to pick.”

At Walsh Family, this harvest will be especially exciting as a number of new vineyard blocks will be cropped for the first time. Some of this year’s fruit will include a mixture of Bordeaux reds as well as Tannat, Chardonnay, Viognier, Petit Manseng, Albariño, and Chenin Blanc. Nate explained, “We planted these blocks with a large amount of optimism for wine potential, and we’re excited to get the fruit into the cellar to see what emerges.”

Over in central Virginia, the team at King Family has been working around the winery and are eagerly “looking forward to harvest this year, knowing that the wines of 2020 will carry with them an element of triumph over the many challenges that VA wine, in particular, has faced this year.”

While this year has proven to require hard work, we are grateful for #vawine lovers’ continued support and for our artisans’ dedication to crafting wines that represent our region. #vawinetogether

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