As I walk around the vineyards during the rainy season one concern on my mind is erosion. I keep my eyes on the hills and vineyard rows as does the vineyard crew. We’ve had slippage in years past. Erosion is a fact of life during any winter season. As rain accumulates either in a large storm or over a number of days once in a while you have a hill slip or a vineyard row collapse. When I was 10 years old or so my sisters and I watched as the hill beside our home split in the middle-a big event because we thought the mud was going to reach our house. It didn't and the hillside has been planted to zinfandel for many years, helping to bring stability there.
To mitigate these from happening we do a number of things in the vineyard. Most important is the cover crop that actually helps hold the ground together. Straw mulch will also protect the vineyard by applying before the rains. When I write about a vineyard crew’s work is never done this is why it is a year round project. Once the grapes have been picked it is time to stabilize the vineyard by planting cover crop and if needed adding straw on some of the roads or rows. We even have employed the use of grape stems on some of the vineyard roads to help provide important coverage. All in all is boils down to being good stewards of the land at all times. A splash of vino in my dino to the rain and all it brings.
The top of the hill looking over the home ranch. You can see the cover crop is doing its' job.