2023 Vineyard Update

We sat down with Mike Nuñez, Anaba’s Vineyard Manager, to discuss how the vineyard is shaping up for the 2023 vintage.

What stage is the vineyard currently in?

The vineyard is currently in dormancy. Vines go dormant as soon as all the leaves fall off usually in November and wake up at bud break which usually occurs in mid-March.

What actions are being taken in the vineyard and will be taken in the next few weeks?

The next major operation in the vineyard is pruning. Pruning sets the crop load for the upcoming season. 

How has the recent weather affected the vineyard?

The recent rain has been great for the vineyard. Past years of dealing with the drought have presented challenges such as low yield. The rain does create an issue with erosion on hillside vineyards. 

What kinds of plants are being planted in the vineyard? And what are the benefits?

We seeded the vineyard with a daikon radish cover crop. The daikon radish helps suppress nematodes and helps break up compacted soil. The deep tap roots drive the winter rain into the vine root zone. 

What conversations are you having with Winemaker, Katy Wilson, and Assistant Winemaker Ian McClellan about the current stage of the vineyard?

The next conversation to have with Katy and Ian will be pruning. We will discuss target tonnage which is influenced by bud counts at pruning.

Have you or are you planning on doing anything different for this coming vintage than the previous year? 

The different strategy for 2023 will be dealing with the extra vigor caused by the extra rain. If the rain continues during the growing season, we may need to deal with increased mildew pressure. Not a real problem, but will need to keep an extra eye on that. 

What different strategies do you have when it comes to our Picpoul Vineyard and our Chardonnay Vineyard?

Chardonnay tends to have thinner skins and compacted berries. Chardonnay is more prone to mildew and bunch rot. Things we need to keep an eye on this year. The Picpoul Blanc doesn’t have these issues. Much easier to farm. 

Have you worked with Picpoul vineyards before? What about this varietal is so different in terms of farming compared to others?

I have farmed the Snow Vineyard which has Picpoul Blanc since 2008. It used to be Syrah and I grafted it to Picpoul Blanc when I first started farming it in 2008. 

When do you think we will be able to harvest grapes from the Picpoul Vineyard?

We planted the estate Picpoul in 2021. The first crop will come in 2024. Full production crop will come in 2025.