Spring 2015 Winemaker Insight

At age 21, I stepped for the first time on the U.S. land. That was 21 years ago.

I had signed up for a one year winemaking internship in the Yakima Valley and fell in love with the Northwest. I extended my stay to work at Woodward Canyon from 1996 to 2003, then had the "once in a lifetime" opportunity to join Long Shadows' dream team with Allen Shoup and seven of the most influential winemakers from around the world.

So here I am today, a French-rooted American, on the verge of spending more time in the United States than in France.

While the 2010 Côté Nicault is laying down in our cellars, unless of course it has already been savored, it is now time to release the next vintage; the 2011!

A limited production of 200 cases was created and is released to Long Shadows Vintners' wine club members and friends & family only. Please contact Nina, our Wine Club Manager, at ninar@longshadows.com if you would like to place an order before it sells out.

Crying Vines
When the vines cry - "La vigne pleure" - as the French would say, are the first signs of activity in the vineyards. This occurs when the days are warming up and the sap starts flowing back up through the center part of the wood called xylem. The sap will then find its way back down the phloem a few days after its ascent.

Spring is also a magical time when flowers are blooming, trees are green and everything is pretty! With these nice days, I have seen vine leaves springing out of their "cocoons" much earlier than usual, some in late March. The 2015 growing season has definitely started... with about a 2 week head start!

Within a couple of weeks after budbreak, the green shoots grow quickly, revealing leaves and even tiny little clusters. In the above picture, two clusters are visible side by side nestled between the little leaves, holding themselves straight up. The next step in June will be bloom and then set, when each berry will be formed.

Whether you have a question, are planning a trip to Walla Walla or just want to say "Hi!", I would love to hear from you. I hope to see you all in the near future, a glass of wine in hand.

Santé! Gilles Nicault

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