Well, life flows on! After a 15 month stint at Boxwood Estate Winery in Middleburg, Virginia, I have migrated north a bit to Stone Tower Winery and live in the middle of 76 acres of VINIFERA!!! Don't worry, I don't think I'll succumb to vinifera poisoning (you know, the stiff neck, raised nose, and faux British tone heard describing lychee, cassis, bottle bouquet, evils of American oak and the greatness of exhorbitant price!) 😆 I am a hybridist and always will be. I am from this land just as the wild vines are.
I'm called an "operator" at Stone Tower, but I also help the production head and vineyard manager with technical details and computer stuff. The place is beautiful, and these guys do a top notch job growing grapes here that would have no business in this climate without all the help. We get to experiment with anything that might improve the quality of the crop. It is an awesome place to work and I am very grateful for the opportunity, Check us out at: www.stonetowerwinery.com .
I am going to try to find a wild aestivalis on the property to create some grapes for the owners that are much more disease resistant and capable of quality wine production. I have two aestivalis stumps transplanted, and I am going to focus on Malbec and Nebbiolo as pollen donors. Malbec is big berry and very juicy and grows like a flag pole. Nebbiolo is huge clustered, tannic, dark and difficult. Anything making a Nebbiolo-like wine without the headache will be a triumph. Getting some of Malbec's upright growth and juiciness would be awesome! Whether I can locate a good mother vine remains to be seen! I suspect one of my stumps is male based on what the flower clusters look like on cuttings I have budded out. I have my '29 King's Landing' V. aestivalis from Hampton, VA, growing at nearby Chrysalis Vineyards, so it will probably get pollen first.
If your in the Leesburg area, stop on by!