Tucked away along the eastern hillside of Napa Valley on the flank of Atlas Peak, sits Frank Family’s S&J Vineyard, named after Rich and Leslie Frank’s grandchildren, Stella and Jeremy. Due to the higher elevation of this 105-acre property, S&J experiences one of our longest growing seasons in the valley. It is planted with 75 acres of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, along with smaller blocks of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel.
Each year, before the end of dormancy between February and March, S&J Vineyard undergoes pruning, the first critical process in the grape growing cycle. Pruning is a standard practice in the cycle of the vine that helps reawaken it from dormancy and prepares it for the upcoming growing season by removing the canes from previous years. It’s as if you are waking the vines up from their long winter nap and gearing them up for the busy seasons ahead.
This year, on March 27 our expertly trained vineyard team meticulously walked row by row hand-cutting each cane at S&J Vineyard. Pruning occurred later in the season this year due to the record amount of rain Napa Valley has received. Pruning is especially important because removing the lignified canes from the previous year helps to construct the location and development of the new canopy. Thus, influencing the fruit quality and quantity. It usually takes our vineyard team a few days to complete each of our vineyards.
With warmer weather finally approaching Napa Valley and things picking up in the vineyard, we excited for the 2023 growing season and the wines these grapes will produce. Stay tuned for our next vineyard update!