As a postscript for last week's column, Peter Cargasacchi gave me further insights and some incisive follow up.
For part of the update on bud break Peter told me the warm weather we've had is actually good right now. It's causing the buds to push. It's counteracting all the cold weather we've had and it's coming at a good time. Otherwise bud break would come late this vintage.
Right now, Peter thinks we'll have a bumper crop like '97, which I should point out many considered to be a controversial vintage. Peter added, if the weather continues like it has, fruit may need to be dropped causing some hard management decisions.
But he added, for growers who are dedicated to quality, it will be an easy decision.
The caveat, though, is, it's still early and we could get late frost or cool weather during bloom, and have a poor set, which would affect the yield. I recall that once in May, when I was program director of the old KTMS FM in Santa Barbara, we got freezing conditions at the transmitter atop Santa Ynez Peak between Santa Barbara and Solvang.
As humans we are subject to the whims of Mother Nature, and all we can do is hope and try to compensate.
Last week, Beth Vandale told me vines in their vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley were budding. I know my rose bushes are busting out all over with leafy green material. I actually have a blooming rose on one of my bushes!
A Good Thought for Restaurant Owners
When I went to Michael Bonaccorsi's memorial service at Spago with Frank Ostini, Wolfgang Puck said in his eulogy that before Michael showed up at Spago he had always viewed wine as an afterthought and that it was Michael who made him realize that wine was very much a part of the dining experience.
As Santa Barbara County and the Santa Maria Valley become more and more a wine destination, eateries are going to have to become more oriented to good wine service and wine lists which reflect some of the local wine treasures and fruits of the vineyard.
The two Hitching Post restaurants-Buellton and Casmalia, the two Chef Rick's-Orcutt and Santa Ynez, and Brothers Restaurant at historic Mattei's Tavern in Los Olivos are doing a great job recognizing that wine is an integral part of the dining experience and should serve as good models for others in the biz!
Wine lover and Santa Maria Times Wine columnist, Bob Senn, lives in the bucolic Los Alamos Valley and owns the Los Olivos Wine & Spirits Emporium.
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