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Beckmen pmv B9 budbreak3

Spring Energizes Our Vineyards

Posted: Apr 15, 2022

In Our Vineyards

Spring­time is a peri­od of growth and renew­al in our vine­yards, as our vines wake up from their win­ter dor­man­cy and their buds come out to say hel­lo. The spring months are also a chal­leng­ing time of year due to the dan­ger of frost on the ten­der, young green shoots. We get some cold nights in the San­ta Ynez Val­ley, and if the tem­per­a­ture dips below 36°F (when ice can form) an alarm will alert Steve Beckmen’s cell phone, noti­fy­ing him to turn on the sprin­klers at the Thomas and Judith Beck­men Estate Vine­yard. By spray­ing water over the vine­yard, it allows the air around the vine to stay warmer than it nat­u­ral­ly would be. On Purisi­ma Moun­tain Vine­yard, we have over­head sprin­klers for frost pro­tec­tion on only rough­ly 10% of the grapevines. 

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Mourvedre vines on Block Five of the Purisima Mountain Vineyard
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Grenache Blanc budbreak on Purisima Mountain Vineyard.

Man­ag­ing our weeds and cov­er crops is an impor­tant spring­time task. Our ben­e­fi­cial cov­er crops will be tilled, incor­po­rat­ing the nutri­tious plant mate­r­i­al into the soil. We use a trac­tor imple­ment that works between the vines like a knife, going just under the sur­face of the soil to cut the weeds down. In oth­er areas, where the space between the vines is tight or the vines are too young, our vine­yard crew will hand hoe.

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Block 6 Syrah thriving on a sunny day.
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On the road between Block Three and Four on the Purisima Mountain Vineyard

We will start shoot thin­ning once the vines start to grow. Shoot thin­ning is remov­ing the unwant­ed suck­er shoots and excess shoots that we do not want on the vine, leav­ing only the best shoots to car­ry on until fruit­ing. The shoots we keep will then be tucked into the ver­ti­cal shoot posi­tion­ing trel­lis sys­tem; we’ll posi­tion the shoots between two pairs of wires like a hedge for the vines where appropriate.

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Block 5 of the Thomas & Judith Beckmen Estate Vineyard

Applying BD Preparations

One of the key com­po­nents to bio­dy­nam­ic farm­ing is apply­ing eight dif­fer­ent prepa­ra­tions to our farm. These​“preps” are made from herbs, min­er­al sub­stances, and ani­mal manures, applied to the vine­yard and/​or the soil in minute dos­es, sim­i­lar to home­opa­thy for humans.

Spring is when we incor­po­rate our com­post into the vine­yard. The com­post is made from the manure of our farm ani­mals (cows, pigs and chick­ens) along with the BD com­post preps 502 – 507. This is applied through our drip sys­tem to enhance fer­til­i­ty and encour­age the growth of micro­bial life in the soil.

Once there is some vine growth lat­er in the spring, herbal teas are applied to help with any micronu­tri­ent needs, sap flow, and over­all health of the vine. These herbs include net­tles, chamomile, and dan­de­lion that we har­vest from around the farm.

We are proud to be the fifth largest cer­ti­fied bio­dy­nam­ic vine­yard in Cal­i­for­nia. Vis­it www​.deme​ter​-usa​.org to learn more about this holis­tic, proac­tive approach to farming. 

Beckmen racking grenache
We're busy racking Grenache to barrel.

Inside Our Winery

Dur­ing the spring months we begin our assem­blage – blend­ing our dif­fer­ent lots pri­or to bot­tling – for our 2021 red wines, which is a real­ly fun time as a wine­mak­er! It allows us a sneak pre­view of the next vintage. 

The bar­rel room remains a reflec­tion of the vine­yard. Dur­ing har­vest, we pick and fer­ment our grapes in small lots, enabling us to cap­ture the indi­vid­u­al­i­ty of each par­tic­u­lar block in both of the vine­yards. Each lot is kept in sep­a­rate bar­rel pro­grams, so when it comes time to blend­ing, we can take sam­ples from all of the dif­fer­ent bar­rels to cre­ate the final blend. 

This atten­tion to detail cre­ates wines with more depth and dis­tinct lay­ers of fla­vor; a cer­tain lot could include any­where from 1 – 2 bar­rels to 15 – 20 bar­rels, which is reflect­ed in the dif­fer­ent bot­tlings of our portfolio. 

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A look across one of our vineyard ponds to our private gazebos, available by reservation for picnics and enjoying wine by the bottle.

Visit Our Working Winery Estate

We are open for out­door wine tast­ings and gaze­bo reser­va­tions. Reser­va­tions are rec­om­mend­ed. The spring and ear­ly sum­mer months are a beau­ti­ful time to vis­it our vine­yard; the grapevines cre­ate a pic­turesque view as their young shoots con­tin­ue to grow, and you can see the young grape berries go through the flow­er­ing, fruit set, and verai­son stages.

We are open for wine tast­ings and gaze­bo reser­va­tions every day. You can book your reser­va­tion on our web­site or call us at 8056888664 ext. 200. We look for­ward to see­ing you soon!

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