News, Events & Tidbits

Warm weather is most definitely here and the vines are filling out nicely – providing a lovely backdrop to all who visit the tasting room. Come see us!

At The Winery

Sunday, 7/13 Acoustic guitarist and singer, MARIE ANDERSON from Smith Mountain Lake plays rock, folk, pop, blues and country from 1 to 4 pm
Sunday, 7/20 Roanoke songwriter MARC BASKIND riffs on his guitar with big band, jazz, oldies and blues sounds from 2 to 5 pm.
Saturday, 7/26 LINDA SHERIDAN-NAY & JIMMY CATLETT of SIX bring six decades of musical experience on guitar, bass, ukulele, concertina, mandolin and harmonica [but not all at once!] from 2 to 5 pm
Sunday, 7/27 JOHN SPEAR, acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter plays classic folk from Gordon Lightfoot, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Harry Chapin along with originals from 1:30 to 4:30 pm

July Pourings at Virginia Retailers

Democracy Vineyards General Manager Jim Turpin will be pouring our wines at these Virginia retailers this month.
Friday, 7/11 THE WINE CELLAR | Staunton
5 to 7pm
Saturday, 7/19 OLDE VIRGINIA GOURMET | Stafford
1 to 4pm
Friday, 7/25 HOP AND WINE | Fredericksburg
5 to 8pm
Harvest 2013

Update from Ben Marguiles,Winemaker & Vineyard Manager

Some of the most drastic changes in the vineyard happen in June. At the beginning of the month, the grape flowers were just finishing bloom, and by the end there are bunches of small, green grapes on the vines. June is a critical time for canopy work. Although there have been several summer thunderstorms this month, most days have had plenty of sunshine which is good for grape quality.

June begins with leaf removal - ensuring air circulation and sunlight around the clusters. Pulling leaves early reduces the risk of sunburnt clusters later in the season. The vines on the ballerina system are “hedged,” with the vertical shoots cut off one to two feet above the top wire, and downward shoots trimmed along the ground. The rows of Merlot on a “Southern Sprawl” trellis, and the acre of Chambourcin on a high wire only need hedging along the ground. Since our vines grow very vigorously, we will likely hedge multiple times this year.

I attended the Virginia Vineyards Association summer technical meeting at Barboursville Vineyards. Vineyard professionals from across the region learned about mechanization, wildlife control, and disease management. In the middle of the month, I hosted the Viticulture class from Piedmont Virginia Community College. I explained our four different trellis systems, the positive aspects and challenges of our site. We discussed choices in row spacing and variety selection, and tasted through wines from different vineyard blocks.

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