Labyrinth Growth, Regenerative Farming, and Upcoming Events!
Hi Sperling friends,
We’re pleased to present you with our July blog. Below you can read about our next installment of Watch the Labyrinth Grow, learn about our regenerative farming practices, and hear about our upcoming events at the winery.
Watch the Labyrinth Grow
In last month’s blog, the Labyrinth vines had just finished flowering, leading to fruit-set. The small, hard, round, grape berries have started to swell into green clusters. In the first days of August the berries will begin to soften and change colour – a stage called “veraison”. This signals a transformation towards ripening. Up to now the vine has divided its energy to both vegetative parts (leaves and stems) as well as the developing grapes, including the seeds they contain. As the grapes become sweeter, the naturally occurring acids will decrease as the grapes lose their green flavours and ripen. At this time in the growing season we pay close attention to the canopy which is the driver of energy in each vine. The canopy includes the green parts of the vine visible above ground and plays the lead role in photosynthesis and ripening. The canopy can provide shade in a hot summer like 2021. And where we need less shade and more sun and air-flow, we thin the leaves, and position shoots. Canopy management is an important part of organic grape farming; it contributes to wine quality and flavour profile, and the prevention of fungal diseases. In the photos below, you’ll see our vines are now netted. We net the vines to make it more challenging for birds and other animals to feast on the ripening grapes.
As we head into August, we’ll start to see fast-paced changes in the grapes. We are excited to show you the difference from this month’s blog to next month. It’ll be time to harvest before we know it!
Recognizing that farming can be a somewhat solitary existence, we look to foster community in ways that support our values. Sperling Vineyards is a proud member of Regeneration Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting soil health and regeneration to naturally increase soil fertility, mitigate climate change, restore biodiversity, improve water cycles, and support a healthy food system.
“Regeneration Canada helps get the word out about farmers who are committed to grasslands, permanent cover crops, biodiversity, and farming that benefits the environment instead of degrading it. Our treed perimeters, native bushes, and permanent cover crops support habitat, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere, unlike conventional agriculture with tillage that releases CO2.” -Ann Sperling, Winemaker
Regeneration Canada offers an interactive map to keep track of who is farming with these practices. The map has 3 objectives:
- Helps to let people know about good farming practices
- Where they can find products made with regenerative farming practices
- Peer to peer learning between farmers
Our family has been farming this land for 135 years. We have an immense respect for the land our great-grandparents chose for us, and a strong sense of responsibility to work in ways that allow nature’s forces to develop even better conditions for future generations. Regenerative farming practices focus on improving and rehabilitating the land, going beyond the status quo.
Sharing the map is about creating a further connection and deeper understanding beyond a bottle of wine. We are happy to be on this map with many amazing Canadian farmers who care deeply about how the earth is cared for, especially as we deal with extreme weather events and climate change. Other BC wineries you’ll find on the Regeneration Canada map are Scorched Earth and Covert Farms.
Events & Visiting Sperling
We have been having fun welcoming visitors to the winery from near and far. We love it when our club members visit. Be sure to ask about our wine clubs the next time you're here. Joining a club is a great way to get access to exclusive club wines and special events. Tastings are available for club members and the general public daily between 10:30am - 6:30pm, for $10 - $20 per person. Book here.
We have been enjoying live music events and in the centre of the Labyrinth vineyard. Our next live music event takes place Saturday, August 14th. Take in the sizzling salsa sounds of Major Mambo under the tent in the Labyrinth Vineyard and enjoy a bottle of organic wine. The Major Mambo Latin Quartet will perform from 4pm to 6pm. We have picnic tables available or you're welcome to bring own lawn chair. Tickets are $25 each. Learn more and make your reservations today.
Our next Yoga in Labyrinth will take place on Sunday, August 15 at 9am. The yoga practice will be gentle and intended for those wanting to calm the nervous system and open up areas of tightness and resistance. All proceeds will go to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Vancouver. Limited spots available. Bring your own mat. A wine tasting is included and will follow the class. Click here to learn more and book now.
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