Hello! My name is Jason Krug and I am the Vineyard Manager at Raffaldini. I am very excited to be working the vines on these rolling green hills. I grew up in a small mining town called Clarkdale just outside the majestic town of Sedona, Arizona. I have always been drawn to working outside and playing in nature so the life of a farmer has naturally suited me. Before I found myself planted in North Carolina I was managing a 20 acre vineyard called Page Springs Cellars. Arizona, much like North Carolina, is building itself to be an up coming wine region. When I am not caring for the vines you can find me out in the forest hiking, climbing and camping.
The best part of vineyard management is shaping the vines as the season grows. We do many tasks here to ensure the grapes reach their fullest potential before making it to the cellar and one of the biggest and most important tasks in every season is shoot thinning. Currently we are shoot thinning all 42 acres of vines. The process involves every vine to be evaluated and shaped to both provide good fruit baring shoots for this season and new replacement canes for the following growing cycle. Every vine, every year will put out more growth than needed. If the growth is left we will have too dense of a canopy leading to disease, high humidity inside the canopy, over shading of fruit and poor fruit quality. It is our job to remove excess growth within the canopy and from the trunk of the vine to allow good air flow, adequate light penetration and proper amount of fruit set on the vine. This is done by plucking off the excess and leaving the chosen shoots. The goal is around 4 to 5 shoots per linear foot of growth and about a hands width length between each vertical shoot position. Considerations must be kept allowing for certain shoots for retraining the vine for future years and keeping in mind that each block and variety is different on how much fruit is set and how many shoots are acceptable to maintain. This is just one of the many tasks to shape the vines in a season. But many more tasks will shape the vines and vineyards to fill those wine glasses full. Cheers and I hope to see you around. Look for me in the vines!
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