It’s been a very long winter for us here in Napa Valley. Although California needs the rain we are very happy to see the onset of Spring. Just last week while walking our Caymus estate vineyard in Rutherford we noticed that our healthy vines have achieved bud break. This is a very wonderful site to see. The vineyard is also full with fava beans, which we grow during the winter rain season to maintain health in our soil in a natural way.
Fava bean is a legume, and legumes have the ability to “fix” nitrogen from the environment. In this day when 30% of total fixed nitrogen is manufactured in Ammonia chemical plants, legumes are a great alternative and our personal choice! Check out the video below for a closer look. See the mass of tiny nodules surrounding the root of the plant. This is a great example of implementing natural measures to ensure vine health, which enhances the level of ripeness which we can attain, ultimately yielding darker, richer wines.
Chuck Wagner, Caymus Vineyards Winemaker