Those unfamiliar with the otherworldly vigour exhibited by Pinot Noir grapevines in early June are welcome (and encouraged) to witness this phenomenon firsthand, before the dramatic shoot-thinning begins.

It is actually comical to see how much growth these vines can throw in ideal conditions.  For every shoot there is a secondary, for every secondary there are three suckers.  This all adds up to mayhem.  Observing Pinot at this stage leads one to wonder if these vines could ever be fashioned into something resembling “organized”.

Over the next few weeks I will tackle this chaotic cluster of green with hopes of taming my Pinot into submission.  Sadly, I already know this is a losing proposition, but what I lack in smarts I make up for in persistence.  This is a key job that sets the tone for producing good, clean Pinot Noir.

If you do decide to visit in the coming days I would suggest bringing along a machete and ample hydration.  If you can find me, I will happily teach you the ways of the jungle.