How to Care for Grapes: Cluster Thinning

“It’s very important as a winemaker that you don’t over crop the vines,” BCV Vintner Dave Collins says as he clutches a cluster of Petit Verdot grapes. Cluster thinning is a winemaking process that improves intensity, sugars and, most importantly, flavor. The goal is to reduce the crop size to help increase the maturity of certain grapes. During the process, any damaged, underdeveloped or congested grapes are removed so they don’t over crop or crowd the larger, juicer fruits.  (more…)

The State of Our Grapes

It’s a striking, sunny morning at Big Cork Vineyards as vintner Dave Collins scans the rows and rows of lush grapevines. A red-tail hawk flaps its wings in the cloudless sky above. Dave pauses from passionately reporting the progress of BCV’s grapes to point out the raptor perches scattered throughout the vineyard. BCV placed them here so the birds could live and hunt in their natural habitat among the grapes. In turn, the birds help manage moles, ground hogs and other pests that cover crops can attract.  (more…)

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