|Mavericks - Robert Scoble (@scobelizer)|
Tomatoes? - Not so much.
I mean, there are things that we CAN grow there, like basil. It's nice, if you like small green weedlets for your pesto. You can water it and fertilize it and love it and sing like Pavarotti to it, but it's just not happy.
Also, there's the San Francisco Fog varietal tomato. It's been hybridized like other commercial non self-pollenating plants. Call it GMO-lite. It pretty much tastes the way you'd expect a hybridized sun loving fruit that's grown in the fog to taste. So WhyTF are we thinking of growing tomatoes at the beach? Maybe I should spend some serious coin and get some greenhouse activity going...get it warmed up with heaters and moistened up and keep the tomato worms at bay.
OK...so I just returned from the 4th annual WineBloggersConference held in Charlottsville, VA this year.
Now, these were record heat indexes, not by much, but, when we think of Virginia in ANY summer, it leads our minds to chiggers and locusts and heat indexes and, well, outdoor sauna wine tastings.
I saw a recent post saying that 47 Virginia wineries presented their wines at the conference. Many thanks to them for coming out. I truly do appreciate your efforts to put your best foot forward and show your wares to the WBC community. While I found a couple of wines that were very nice and a few that were outright drek and just plain out parts cleaner, the vast majority were positively and extremely unremarkable. That's unfortunate. The community is certainly looking to play not just on what seems to be their strength in Cabernet Franc and Viognier, but in other varietals including some that are just plain tough to grow in the best of environs. Unfortunately, I just don't think Viognier is a varietal that belongs solo. Needs it's partner Syrah up north and the menage-a-trois including Marsanne and Rousanne down south.
Now, back to that dinner. I was chattin' with my pal, the MD at a medium size (10000 case) winery about the crazy difficult growing conditions and he mentioned a discussion he had with one of the locals in which he discovered that they had sprayed (sulfur) 12 times already this season. 12 times by the end of July. Veraison recently started or is just starting for the majority of folks. Ugh. Another pal and I were chatting about the conditions and he said one of the locals responded to his question "what are the difficulties with the growing conditions?" with the comment "Yes. All!"
It's true. Growing grapes here is challenging to say the least. Wet, hot, still.....even in the most moderate of seasons. Vinifera, for the most part, just doesn't like it wet. Powdery mildew, Downy mildew (maybe not when so hot) and other leaf-spotting fungi. Bleck.
Now back to that tasting of 47 VA wineries and their wines. LOTS of them had some really good sulfur stank. Most others were just sloppy... lazy....boring with a HINT of sulfur. Some tried to hide things. Others just didn't.
So, while it's certainly true that VA can make good wine, at what cost? Literally? Probably alot. Figuratively? Dunno....but lots of other stuff I don't like.
I'm thinking that VA sounds like a good place for my tomato farm.