Dominique and I drove up to our Venice Rd property today. It was a rainy, wintery type of day, so we thought we’d just go and soak up the feeling. We were both very surprised when we got to the top of the lot and saw that all of the vineyards, which are green in Spring and Summer, and bare in Winter, were today filled with colors of red and orange. Like giant blankets stretched across the landscape. It took our breath away for a minute.
Being a city-slicker, I was initially unaware that grape vines lost their leaves in winter. Some Oak trees do also. Where I grew up in Marin County the local Oak trees kept their leaves all year round. But here in Paso Robles, there is one type of Oak tree that does loose all its leaves in winter. The first time Dominique and I came up to visit Paso Robles, scouting for a place to live, it was January. The first vineyard we came upon driving up the region was totally bare, then the second one was bare. I told Dominique, “Why have folks let all these vineyards die? And what is up with all these dead Oak trees? Maybe the have some kind of disease?” I soon learned of my mistake from our agent Wayne Lewis. In Spring everything is as green as can be.
While we were nosing around up at the Venice site, looking at the deer which are always on the property, we ran across some mistletoe growing on an Oak tree.
It was such a nice rainy afternoon, that we drove the long way home back to Baby-Oak.
Side Note: the weather in 2018 has apparently yielded some very good grapes for the area. A hot summer followed by a cool/cold fall. Many wineries were able to harvest later in November than they ever have before. It is thought that the 2018 vintage may end up being a very good one down the road. You can read comments from local wine makers in this article in the Wine Industry Advisor.