Cutter Cascadia began in February of 2017, in what seemed to be a lifetime before that name had been chosen for the label. I had made the commitment to take over the small block of Dolcetto vines in late 2016 from the previous purchaser of the fruit. The vineyard is called von Flowtow and it is on the west side of Hood River off of Country Club Road.
Spring came and the first objective besides pruning was to take pruning weights for the six test bays. All bays were pruned, weighed, weak shoots counted, and I calculated the percentage of weak shoots based on the total amount of shoots on each vine. All test bays, even those with some higher percentage of weak shoots are scored in the “moderate” vigor zone, with some pushing the limits into high vigor, which I had expected.
Leading up to summer and bloom, the weather had been hot in late May, and I was able to sort out what trunk disease was what (mostly?) as the canopy grew especially into early June. I kept seeing signs of crown gall, and it’s one of those things that once you spot it, you’ll always see it. Eutypa is very distinctive as well with its runty shoots with leaves that had a chlorotic and singed appearance, but can also look like bot canker.
Although the evidence remained, the rains that came in mid to late September cleared the land of smoke and drought. The canopy was stressed, but due to the excessive heat, the sugars were actually a little behind due to the vines shutting down. I began sampling berries, and later clusters, and we were quickly approaching a pick date for the rosé.