First in a series of posts about the 2013 vintage at three New England wineries that will will run through the fall.
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. The early April skies are gray, the midday light feeble, and temperatures in the vineyard on the banks of the Sakonnet River feel much colder than the low 40s the thermometer registers. Field workers (above) at Greenvale Vineyards are bundled against the chill and damp as they move from one cabernet franc vine to the next patiently positioning and tying off the year-old canes that will bear fruit here later in the season. The vines have already had a first pruning (you can see the clipped branches awaiting collection in the foreground) aimed at clearing away last year’s growth.
Tidying up the vines in preparation for a season of active growth and fruit production is typically the first work undertaken at the outset of each new vintage, and in New England where testy weather often lasts well into April, the work, which is hard and tedious everywhere, is also cold and raw.
I’m in southern Rhode Island to begin a series of posts that will chronicle the 2013 vintage at three New England wine properties as it unfolds from early April, when the buds first begin to swell, to late October or even November when the new wine is vatted and the vines retreat into their annual dormancy. The properties we’ll be following are Greenvale, whose well-tended vineyards in Portsmouth, R.I. are just a few miles from the Newport mansions; Turtle Creek Winery in Lincoln, Mass., 20 miles west of from Boston; and La garagista in Barnard, Vt. in the mountains above the village of Woodstock. [Read more…]