Vinetalk with Paul
As the 2014 growing season is in full swing, we checked in with Firestone winemaker, Paul Warson to get the latest updates on what’s currently going on in the vineyards. Located in the touted Santa Ynez wine appellation, Firestone’s growing season had a few weeks head start as dry and warm weather conditions pushed the buds to break earlier than previous vintages. As Chardonnay was the first varietal to emerge, it was also the first to flower and was quickly joined by Syrah, followed by Riesling soon after. Once all varietals have flowered, the vineyard crew will prepare for the next stage of the growing season, a process known as shoot thinning.
A widely used vineyard management practice, shoot thinning is designed to achieve balance between fruit quality and yield. The number of shoots that are removed is determined by grape varietal as well as shoot length and is executed early on in the growth stages while the shoots are still easy to detach at the base. At Firestone, the Malbec, Petit Verdot and Syrah blocks are the first to be thinned, and will be done manually by the vineyard crew who travel down each row and meticulously remove shoots to the desired amount. This is a crucial stage during the growth cycle as the energy that would be pulled into growing excess shoots is redirected and focused into developing grape clusters. Overlooking this step can lead to a crowded canopy, limiting the amount of light that is able to penetrate through the leaves, thus hindering the development of flavor during ripening. Shoot thinning is also a natural remedy for fungal diseases found on vines as it allows for increased air movement, preventing moisture from getting trapped inside the clusters and protecting the fruit from rot, botrytis and powdery mildew.
Though it’s too early to predict the outcome of this growing season, Paul is optimistic as frost threats have been cleared, the weather has remained consistent during flowering and the vineyards are in great condition. As the vines are growing ahead of schedule this year, Paul expects to begin harvest in late August or early September.
Reserve Wine Flight
Experience includes a tasting of five lower production, limited release Eos wines. For reservations, email us at email@example.com
Eos - Featured
Entices your senses with aromas of blackberry, cassis and cigar box. The aromas lead into flavors of black cherry with a hint of earthiness. Soft tannins tempt the palate leading into the lingering finish.
Firestone - Featured
Enticing aromas and flavors of black cherry, blackberry and cassis followed by vanilla bean, baking spices and espresso. Supple tannins make this wine full, rich and concentrated.