vineyards post-harvest

Post-Harvest Work on Vineyards Critical to Next Season’s Yield

Once the harvest time is over, vines are allowed to rest and regroup until it’s time to grow grapes again. Good for the vines. They definitely deserve the rest. Managers of vineyards, on the other hand, have a lot to do post-harvest. There are several duties they need to complete to ensure the success of the crops for next year, from soil analysis to aerial assessment.


What do they need to do then?



Working the Vineyards Post-Harvest



Soil Assessment

For a long time, many winemakers believed that stressed vines produce grapes of higher quality. Because the land is different now, making the veins suffer would have the opposite outcome.


The next best step is to assess the soil’s needs for nutrients. Take a good look at the leaves and the vines. Their health and vigor, or the lack thereof, will tell you their actual conditions.


If the leaves brown and drop prematurely, salts may be causing mineral deposits. Leaf drop can also be caused by diseases, such as cotton root rot or downy mildew.


If the symptoms are only affecting older leaves near the fruit zone, the vines may be stressed due to a deficiency in mobile nutrients such as potassium or magnesium.


Drought and insufficient watering will also cause a lot of leaf necrosis. In areas where vines are in decline or have low vigor, the vines should be tested for problematic nematodes.


For each of these problems, there are solutions.


To counter mineral deposits caused by salts, for example, growers can apply heavy irrigation sets to push salts passed the root zone.



Plant Cover Crops

This is the best way to restore soil fertility and tilth in vineyards. Crops, such as grains, clovers, legumes, and perennial grasses attach to nitrogen-fixating bacteria in the soil and help increase organic matter, minimize weed growth, and maintain efficient water filtration.


By choosing the right cover crops to plant, vineyard managers can enhance the soil quality for next season.



Soil Boosting

Due to regulations designed to improve air quality, agricultural residue burning is no longer an option to boost soil.


This is why growers are encouraged to generate compost from post-harvest debris. Onsite composting is not only a sustainable and organic solution but also reduces erosion, eliminates debris, and improves terroir.


But because this process can be tricky, growers can also apply commercial fertilizer.


Whichever is the case, it is highly recommended that you use a service to test compost for a variety of parameters and to help mechanize the composting process.



Determine Vine Health

Observing the state of the vine and its canopy will provide insights on how effective the growing practices were. Post-harvest is also the best time to check for decline-related diseases that affect vines.


So, take a walk along the rows and test the vine and canopy.


Combine this with aerial drones that collect visual and spectral images, you can collect data that will help you adjust growing practices, if needed, for the next season.



Pre-Season Soil Analysis

This is performed to determine if the soil meets the array of nutrition parameters needed for a good yield. These include organic matter, nitrogen, salinity, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, and pH.



The analysis also includes a study of the soil, types, yield goal potential, and growing issues that vineyards are likely to encounter.




Speckle Rock Vineyards is located in beautiful Escondido, California and we’re happy to serve the following cities and counties and their surrounding areas in Southern California: Vista, Valley Center, San Marcos, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Ramona, Mesa Grande, Poway, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and Temecula

best wineries - developing palate

Tips on Developing a Taste for Wine

Did you know that developing a taste for wine is influenced by many factors? It’s not an exact science, but rather a personal and cultural adventure. In fact, science explains that your life experience will determine your alcohol preference. This means that what a close friend of yours says is a delicious Rosé may not be delicious to you. So, take a trip to the best wineries and discover your own taste for wine.



Understanding your Palate

Your sense of sight, smell, taste, and feel create a complex combination of your palate. When it comes to drinking wine, there are specifics that your brain must take note of:


  • The visual impact of wine, its shade, color intensity, bubbly, still, etc.


  • The flavors that your sense of smell and taste pick up.


  • The taste of wine as it hits your tongue sensors—sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and tasting of minerals.


  • The sensations a wine creates:

-Cool or warm

-Heat from the alcohol content

-Astringency from the tannins

-Fizz and consistency of the wine



All these factors will make wine drinking experience.


But because your palate has automatically developed likes and dislikes over your lifetime, you will have a better experience if the wine you drink suits your palate preferences.


For instance, if your choice of drink started with milk, then soda, and then a cocktail, your palate is likely to appreciate wine that is sweet, with a bit of fizz, and is served cold.



Cultural Influence

Culture has a strong influence on palate preferences, which is evident in the kind of drinks that Americans and Italians prefer. They are different.


This is why wine producers in America largely cater to the American palate, and wine producers in Italy largely cater to the Italian palate.



Quality-to-Value Ratio (QVR)

Say your palate gravitates to some of the most expensive wines in the world. If you can’t always afford them, you’ll be glad to know that there are affordable wines that are just as delicious. You just need to find them based on QVR. No need to waste money to fund your expensive wine preferences if there are affordable alternatives.


Now that you know that your palate, culture, and pocket can dictate the kind of wine you drink, it’s time to develop and discover your own wine preference.


Different wines have different characteristics that may or may not appeal to you. Thus, the need to explore every product you find from the best wineries.



White Wine

Simple and delicious, whites are an unfussy and effective choice. They have a higher drinkability level than some complex and serious wines.




Instantly recognizable yet unique in its dependably delicious and affordable way, Riesling is a popular choice of wine. It has a balance between flavor and freshness and electricity and weight.


Riesling with an ABV of below 10% is sweet, 10-15% is off-dry, and 12% or higher is very dry.



Red Wine

Fruity, bold, and earthy, red wine appeals to certain palates. Because it comes in different variety, there’s a style that will appeal to every palate.


Red wines can be light-bodied with a fruity and fresh flavor, medium-bodied that is fruit forward with spice, and full-bodied with lots of tannins that make it big and bold. Speckle Rock Vineyards is one of the best wineries to taste red wines. Contact us today for more information on wine tasting events.



Remember though that your palate evolves, and you should let your taste for wine evolve with it. It’s the best way to get the full experience of what the best wineries have to offer.




Speckle Rock Vineyards is located in beautiful Escondido, California and we’re happy to serve the following cities and counties and their surrounding areas in Southern California: Vista, Valley Center, San Marcos, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Ramona, Mesa Grande, Poway, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and Temecula