Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back at the Shop

Pruning grapevines isn't terribly difficult. I was at the Hermannhof vineyards pruning Norton, which basically involved removing all branches that were more than a year old and pruning new shoots to strategically manage leaf growth and control sunlight distribution during the growing season.

Like I said, the pruning is the easy part. None of the vines seemed to be over a couple of years old, so there wasn't anything too difficult to cut away. The awful part, as you might imagine, was the bitter cold in the morning.

But it was fun, and I'll be out there again Friday. The weather promises to cooperate, with temperatures around 55 fahrenheit.

The point of this post, I guess, is twofold. First, I'm getting a sense of how labor intensive it is to make even decent wine from decent grape varietals. Second, there are some exciting things happening in terms of viticulture and winemaking in the Midwest.

I can't honestly claim I've had a truly great or profound wine from the Midwest, but there are some good wines produced locally. I personally think it's a shame that more restaurateurs don't think to put locally produced wines in their venues; I think that everyone would gain if that began happening. This is Columbia, Missouri, after all, and it would be nice to see more aspects of the community and the region being represented in the food and drink we present to visitors.

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