Seasons of Sustainability: Winter
As winter approaches with its cooler temperatures and shortened days, vines go into the final phase of their annual cycle: dormancy. Although their appearance is far from the images of lush, fruitful vines we saw only a few weeks ago, the vines are far from shut down during this season of recovery and preparation.
During the winter months, vines are hard at work laying down the groundwork for spring growth. Energy is diverted from what's seen above the soil to what lies below; root systems soak up soil nutrients and stockpile carbohydrates for spring growth while also slowing water uptake to prevent freezing.
Here are some of the things you can do during this Season of Sustainability to help support your vines through the winter:
In the Vineyard
- Plant cover crops to prevent erosion, help rain penetrate, provide natural fertilizer, and help prevent roots from freezing.
- Spread compost to release fertilizer and inoculate the soil with beneficial microorganisms.
- Prevent erosion with straw or hay bales.
In the Winery
- Taste and top tanks and barrels.
- Update post-fermentation analysis, and regularly monitor Free SO2 and Volatile Acidity levels.
- Schedule bottling and begin blending trials.
- Compare water bills and look for increases or anomalies.
One of the most important things you can also do during these months is to give thanks and show gratitude to your hardworking employees. One study on top performance motivators found that 37% of employees feel most encouraged by personal recognition. Think about this as you plan for holiday gifts, end-of-the-year parties, and the year ahead. Engage your employees in planning the year ahead, and set goals for departments in order to motivate and inspire.