Every Day is Cabernet Day: Seasons in the Vineyard by Amy Aiken, Meander Wines

Amy Aiken of Meander Wines

For me, every day is Cabernet Day! Some days I taste Cabernet from barrels. Some days I taste Cabernet from bottles. Many days I am planning for making Cabernet by ordering barrels, yeast and other supplies.

Some of my favorite Cabernet Days are actually in the vineyard. Walking the vineyards and feeling the seasons of the vines gives me a great sense of peace as well as inspiration.

2011 Day in the Dust at Rubicon Estate, where I first met Amy Aiken

A spring vineyard is full of optimism as buds swell and burst forth to begin crop production for the vintage. Leaving behind the threat of frost are timid green leaves which unfold to capture the sun to grow and feed the grapes. The smell of bloom is a blend of bee pollen and honeysuckle. So much to look forward to!

Summer in the vineyard is a time of strong growth and development. The sturdy structure of the vine supports a tremendous amount of leaf growth and the setting of the grapes.  Leaves are deep green and toughen in the sunshine. The berries start to size up with the nourishment from the vines. Veraison heralds fall and harvest.  When the color change is complete we turn the corner to maturity.

Meander Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Fall is signaled by a gentle yellowing of the leaves through the canopy.  The leaves yield to the grapes and begin to “fall” from the vine.  Grapes continue to soak up the sun and mature.  The sugar rises and flavors develop.  I pop the berries into my mouth and taste the sweetness and sense the tannins.  This is when I wait for the vineyard to hit stride. The smell of harvest is in the air as other vineyards are being harvested and the harvest “buzz” is on. Mother Nature takes control with cool evenings and warm days to even up the maturity of the crop.  All in sync to produce a beautiful beginning of a wine.

So begins the journey of the wine….once in the winery the grapes most delicious expression is my goal…

Happy Cabernet Day….Meander More!

Meander Wines

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