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the winemagnet

 

Sunrise in July on the property, Viader Vineyards and Winery

Summer at Viader!

It’s another exciting week in the vineyard, as we move closer to harvest. We continue our legacy of organic farming, which involves many sustainable practices that help our fruit flourish. One specific vineyard practice includes a unique effort to naturally control any predatory pests in order to maintain a balanced ecological system on the property, which Alan takes great pride in.  In this light, he incorporates some amazing strategies, one of which occurred this week: the release of these tiny wasps that control pests by “flying around and laying their eggs into the belly of the host,” says Alan.

Alan Viader in Viader Vineyards

Alan inspects these little wasps before releasing into Viader Vineyards

These very tiny wasps target the small pest known as vine mealybug to safely and naturally prevent this pest from causing detriment to the vines.

Close to 10,000 of these little beneficiary wasps are released per season. The adult wasps generally live about 2-3 days flying around laying hundreds of eggs in their lifetime.  They arrive in small vials and are dispersed by our crew in the vineyard. How do they find their prey? “They fly around and are attracted to the pheromones from the females,” Alan says.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach: IPM is a pest management strategy useful for any farming system especially for organic growers.

Viader Vineyards grapes in Veraison

Grapes coming along so very nicely- most have completed veraison now.

It’s just another week in the life of an organic winery, with Alan Viader at the helm. Please keep in touch with us to learn more about news at the vineyard and our various product releases and specials. Coming up to harvest is the busiest and most exciting time at our vineyard. We’d love to have you come for a visit and feel free to ask questions below.

Cabernet Franc is one of the grapes Delia planted early on when settling on Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain in 1986.  Both the namesake VIADER Proprietary Red Blend (30% Cab Franc in 2009) and the DARE by Viader single varietal (100%) show how the grape’s femininity, elegance and seductiveness shines through when cultivated here in the New World.  Delia chose to focus on this particular grape variety because it had always captured her attention.  She found Cabernet Franc to be intriguing, pleasant – almost voluptuous – on the palate, and moreover it was not prevalent in Napa Valley in the early 1980′s when she established the winery.  Our inaugural release of VIADER back in 1989 had 40% Cab Franc as well.  Since the beginning, Delia has been committed to blending and bottling this noble grape to capture its finesse and character which is unlike any other grape variety.

Viader Proprietary Red Blend with Cab and Cab Franc

Viader Proprietary Red Blend with Cab and Cab Franc

The grape is one of the five Bordeaux varietals and the dominant red grape of Loire Valley’s Chinon dating back several centuries. By the 18th century, the grape was widely planted in Pomerol and St.-Emillion. And while rarely the dominant player in wines of Bordeaux, it’s a significant component in the wine that inspired Delia’s choice: Cheval Blanc.  In fact, the VIADER clone of Cabernet Franc is one of the few in existence that comes from the same St.-Emilion, Bordeaux area.

The Cabernet Franc varietal is mostly added to the VIADER Proprietary Red Blend for its lovely perfume that brings to mind violets, rich raspberries and plums, with a bit of red currant. The tannins show more restraint than those in its close relative Cabernet Sauvignon so the finish is smoother and silkier.

Here on Howell Mountain in sunny Napa Valley we love the expression of Cab Franc in both the small production VIADER and DARE by Viader wines, exploding with ripe dark plums and berries yet finishing smoothly with an elegance all of its own. If you haven’t yet tried our current releases, please come for a tasting soon or visit our website for more information.