Discing in the Winter Cover Crop

by Peter Mathis on April 13, 2015

Last week I showed you my new flail mower, which was sorely needed with the waist-high cover crop of peas, vetch, barley and more. This week, post-mowing, here are four short videos that introduce and demonstrate how the discer works in Mathis Vineyard. Like all my other equipment, the discer is customized for my narrow vine rows. It incorporates the mowed cover crop into the soil for faster uptake of the nutrients. Take a look:

Results from the New Flail Mower

by Peter Mathis on April 06, 2015

Last week I showed you the features of my new flail mower. I purchased this new equipment to get my winter cover crop more finely chopped up. Better, finer mowed material will incorporate its nutrients faster into the Mathis Vineyard soil. Hence, the vines will make better use of those nutrients. Take a look at the results:

 

Meet My New Flail Mower

by Peter Mathis on April 02, 2015

Last year I introduced you to my flail mower, but this year I decided it was time to invest in a more up-to-date model. In this video, I give a short demonstration on how it works and various parts. This is used to cut down the waist-high winter cover crop for incorporation into the soil in Mathis Vineyard.

 

Bud Break - The 2015 Growing Season Gets Underway

by Peter Mathis on March 18, 2015

Mid-March and bud break is already upon us in Sonoma Valley. The winter has been unusually mild, making the vines at Mathis Vineyard think it's time to start growing again for vintage 2015 Grenache. Here are a couple of videos we shot over the weekend:

My second video shows the results of the winter cover crop I seeded last fall. It's now waist high! Take a look:

Post-Seeding the Winter Cover Crop - The Tractor Chronicles

by Peter Mathis on December 01, 2014

The rains have arrived in wine country! (We need it.) It's the perfect end to planting the winter cover crop. The rain will provide a healthy start to seed germination. 

In this episode of "The Tractor Chronicles" I show the planted section of block 800. Not every section of the vineyard receives the same cover crop. In this case, the area shown received a nitrogen fixing crop such as peas. Other parts of the vineyard don't require an extra dose of nitrogen. So those areas get a different seed "cocktail." Everything goes towards promote the healthiest crop possible, regardless of growing conditions.

 

Cover Crop Seeding - The Tractor Chronicles

by Peter Mathis on November 18, 2014

Last week I presented the drill (or seeder), the farming attachment to my Kubota tractor that plants my cover crop seeds. It drops them down a tube into a groove cut by the discs and then tamps them down into the ground by the rubber roller wheels behind -- essentially "drilling" the seeds into the ground. It helps improve the quality and quantity of cover crop between vine rows. It's easier to just watch the video to explain it all:

Meet the Drill Seeder ~ The Tractor Chronicles, Season 2

by Peter Mathis on November 12, 2014

First in winter preparations in the Mathis Vineyard is planting the cover crop. In past years I've done this by hand as I hadn't found a seeding machine narrow enough to fit between my vine rows. This year I lucked upon a drill seeder that Matt Ashby at Mondavi kindly loaned to me for a few days. (Thanks, Matt!) Take a look:

 

Season 2 of The Tractor Chronicles ~ Sneak Peek

by Peter Mathis on November 12, 2014

It's time to prep Mathis Vineyard for winter, which means the winter cover crop must be seeded between the grape vine rows. Here's a quick look at what it involves in this preview of the second season of "The Tractor Chronicles":

 

Making a Cuvée of Petite Sirah

by Peter Mathis on October 23, 2014

Here's the second special batch (cuvée) of wine I'm making from vintage 2014─it's Petite Sirah. The grapes for this wine are all grown in Mathis Vineyard. And thankfully there was more than enough in this year's harvest for me to not only include it in my usual blend with my Grenache but also craft this special wine. An introduction:

 

Making the Mathis Uber Cuvée

by Peter Mathis on October 20, 2014

Harvest has been bountiful, allowing me some extra fun to produce limited lots of specialty blends. Here is one.

Shown in this new video is my Uber blend. It consists of the same varieties in my regular Grenache (Grenache, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet), but the percentages in the blend of each are vastly different. So the flavor profile will be dramatically different--but completely delicious--when the fermentation and aging processes are complete in a couple of years.