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7:00 a.m. August 30, 2016: Villa Ragazzi's harvest begins. Forty minutes later, the Sangiovese destined for Rosato is on its way to the winery. Job well done!
No one home. How quickly they grow up and fly away. Still in the shell 16 days ago to a nearly fledged bevy of baby birds 3 days ago, to a quartet of (we think) house finches seeking new quarters, Mr. & Mrs. Finch must be bereft.
Fortunately for the Rodenos, there are other things growing at Villa Ragazzi. The Sangiovese is still on the vine, and it can't fly away. Harvest is coming...
Take a moment to return to my blog post of 8.6.16, where we introduced these little guys. One of them hadn't even hatched then.
Six days later, they're taking recognizable shape as birds and nearly filling the nest. It's quite small, interior diameter no more than 3.5 inches..
We're careful not to disturb them, but when I checked a few minutes ago their beaks were wide open, expecting food. I returned two minutes later with the camera to find they'd fallen asleep - though the one on the right is keeping an eye open.
If we ever figure out what they are, we'll report back.
It comes as a surprise to many that Napa Valley wineries permitted since 1990 may receive visitors or buyers only by appointment.
People are sometimes late for their appointments because they miscalculate travel, or get lost, or a previous appointment starts late or ends late. That's understandable - and those people generally call because they know vintners are reserving time and space just for them.
We all love helping people discover our valley and our wines, but many of us are small mom and pops who cannot afford down time. Please give us as much notice as you can if your plans change, or if you 're running late. Thanks!
Today our 5th leaf Sangiovese is 50% through veraison, i.e., changing color from green to "black" or, in the case of Sangiovese, a lovely dark blue.
There's a nice canopy (foliage) to feed and shade the developing clusters as they fill out and ripen, and we're expecting to pick in early to mid-September.
The plan is to harvest this small planting of estate Sangiovese a bit early to make (dry) Rosato. We'll use grower fruit (Rodeno clone) for the red wine, to be picked a bit riper.
Growing wine grapes is a thrill a minute!
I am Villa Ragazzi's default blogger and wielder of the blue pencil.