{ Red Experiment R9.8 }

Tasting Note

. . .
2018 Red Experiment N3.8 wine label

{ Background and Aims }

Row orientation has a dramatic effect on fruit quality, as it governs how much and when the fruit is exposed to light and heat. Sunlight promotes color and flavor development in the grapes. Heat can help that process up to a certain point, too, after which it is detrimental to the process. For this Experiment, we made wine from a vineyard with a row orientation perpendicular to ours. Our aim was to observe light and heat interception in this vineyard and compare it to our estate vineyard.

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{ Methodology }

A vineyard with a row orientation 90 degrees to ours (but with a similar trellis structure) was selected for this experiment. Throughout the growing season, observations were made, noting the amount of fruit exposure at different times of the day. Fruit was then harvested and wine was made in the same manner as our estate fruit. The final blend was then aged for 20 months and bottled.

{ Conclusion }

Row orientation in combination with trellis structure are two incredibly important elements of vineyard design. At our estate vineyard, the north-south orientation in combination with a Vertical Shoot Position provides fruit exposure both in the morning hours and in the afternoon hours – times when light intensity is low and heat is either low or high. When we observed the same trellis structure in and east-west orientation we saw much more dappled light throughout the day, with direct exposure only very early and very late. These results confirm some of our farming practices at OVID, such as the use of shade cloth on the afternoon side of the row. They also suggest that we may want to experiment with Modified California Sprawl trellising in the future.

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