Veraison and Bird Nets

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Its happening 2 weeks later than we expected but the grapes are finally going through their color change known as veraison.  That means we need to protect them from the hungry birds!  This year the weather was perfect for our work crew. 2 days of sunshine and cool temps allowed us to lay down and secure the nets before the hungry birds found what a tasty treat the sweetening grapes make.  Thanks to Lee, Colton, Mach, Loga, Ben, Topher and Elliot for making this years job so easy.  What a great crew.

 

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Vines Prepared for Final Push

It has been a very wet Summer here in the vineyard.  More than 7 inches of rain has kept the vegitation growing and given us a bumper crop of grapes.  Our vineyard workers have been working overtime to manage the canopy with the usual crop and leaf thinning and shoot pulling.  One thing that is a little different this year is the adjustment we have made in our Scott-Henry trellice system in our Cabernet Frac.  This is a vertical split which was fine while the vines were young but now with vines pushing 10 years old and crazy vegitative growth, we have added 2 foot post extensions to facilitate the crop ripening.  More vegetation increases the rate that sugars can be produced and ultimately stored in the fruit.  This picture shows the extended vine space at the top of each post.  Thanks to Lee and Elliot, the vines are perfectly manicured so you can appreciate the view of the extra vertical space.

Here are the 7 foot Cab Franc vines. 

Here are the 7 foot Cab Franc vines. 

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Here are the normal height Vidal Blanc VSP.

Grapes Looking Good

The vineyard is looking great as we head into July.  We have thinned our fruit and canopy in preparation for the warm sunshine of July and August.  The chambourcin is full of fruit and so is the Vidal Blanc.

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The early spring gave us a jump on the season and we escaped by the skin of our teeth on 2 early frosts.  The weather has been cool and our plants were growing slow and falling behind but the 90's arrived just in time for the bloom.  Things have really jumped in the last 3 weeks. 

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With less rain, the threat of fungal infection has reduced and now we will just sit back and let it grow.  August we will need to begin putting bird nets down and then Sept. and Oct. we will find out what quality our fruit loks like for the 2017 vintage. 

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Remember our Fri. And Sat. Concerts if you want to come out and see our vines in their full growth.  They look beautiful. 

Grapes in Full Bloom

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This is a picture of the Chardonnay Blooms that now cover the vines in the vineyard.

 

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The vines have been pruned and look beautiful.  Yesterday evening we went for a walk with a group of friends through the vineyard and everyone was impressed with the amount of growth that is occurring in the last 5 days as the temperatures have soared.  The weather for this weekend is improving so you will be able to join us on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to take a walk in the vineyard.  This is a big time for the vineyard owner as we worry about the grapes pollinating and filling out their clusters in order for them to ripen for the fall harvest.  Things are looking great because the weather is forecast to be warm and dry throughout this critical period.  The last thing we need is a cool rainy stretch throughout this important time.  Stop by and enjoy the weather and the vineyard.  It looks great and the beauty is all around you.

 

Wine Glass Painting this Thursday June 15, 7-9:00

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Join us this Thursday for a paint and create event at the vineyard.  The weather looks great and the new team at Paint and Create is excited to help you make the most beautiful wine glass ever!  Come out and enjoy an evening of art and fun for $30 by calling the studio at 350-1144.

Hope you can make it!

 

 

Preakness Party May 20 4-8:00 PM

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It is now post time!  After canceling our Kentucky Derby Party last weekend, we have talked to the band Troubadour Lights and Blazing Swine BBQ and we are ready to celebrate the second race of the Triple Crown - The Preakness.

The weather has not been very cooperative to us so far this May so keep your fingers crossed.  We hope to re-create the festivities of our Derby party by holding a hat competition and serving Black-eyed Susan wine cocktails.  Come out and join in the festivities as we extend our hours to watch the race at 7:35.  Come for the whole afternoon or drop by for the music starting at 5:00.  Food will be provided by R&K Food Wrecker from 12-5:00 and Blazing Swine BBQ from 4-7:30.  Hope you can race out to celebrate with us.... And they're off!

 

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Chardonnay Bud Break

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   The first buds have broken in the vineyard.  If the weather is good this weekend, it will be a beautiful day to take a stroll or pack a picnic lunch to eat among the vines.  Stop by with a lunch to buy a bottle and eat with the buds! 

Great Dinner Ideas

The vines are pruned and every year we celebrate this event by gathering some of the cuttings and smoking some fish and grilling some steaks.  Here I used some Vidal Blanc vines to smoke a big salmon steak.  I smoked the salmon for 45 minutes before I fired up the grill and finished the fillet with some brown sugar, salt and pepper.   

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The second dish was just a simple oyster appetizer with Chesepeak Bay oysters, cocktail sauce, lemon and Tabasco paired with our delicious Vidal Blanc dry.  It was delicious. 

 

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Summer Concert Schedule

     If you have not had time to stop by our tasting room to pick up our Summer Concert Schedule, I am going to pass it on to you here.  We are looking at an amazing summer of entertainment.  Our general plan is to provide bands on Friday night and solo acoustic acts on Saturday from 4-6:00.  Note that there are 3 Sat. concerts that we have reserved for charity fundraising events.  If you plan to come on those evenings, you will need a ticket to eat the catered meal.  Download a PDF of our schedule HERE.  To read a little about each of the bands and review the food truck schedule you can check out our schedule online at CasselVineyards.com

     We are also setting up a schedule for serving Hard Cider on Thurs. and Friday nights with the beer from Evergrain Brewing Company on Saturday and Sunday.  Today we kicked off the Spring Easter Egg hunt with two great beers from Evergrain.   The first was Camp Pils a delicious pilsner style beer and the second is Joosey Juice IPA a very tasty, extra hoppy IPA.      I wish I could announce the types of hard ciders we will be serving, but we are still hard at work crafting them to from the apple juice we purchased last November.  One of my favorite flavors is the dry hopped, English Ale style cider.  After 5 days of our custom grown Glacierand Saaz hops.  This combination gives a citrus essence with a crisp, earthy flavor.  Our hops were grown in a recovered block of downtown Detroit.  After several days of dry hopping, we will keg the cider and have it ready for serving in May.  We hope you can come out and taste it all in the next couple of weeks.