Deleafing is the process of removing excess leaves as a part of vineyard management. This process is done primarily to provide ample ventilation and sunshine to the growing grape cluster during veraison (ripening of the grapes).
It is especially important in Oregon where there is high probability of rain, this would also allow the grapes to quickly dry and receive direct sunlight in order to avoid grape diseases such as mildew or botrytis which would lead to “bad” grapes. Pinot Noir is a an especially delicate grape variety and this additional exposure to sunlight and ventilation will also help it mature properly.
In preparation for this year’s harvest, I thought I would show you what I did last year as part of my masters program at University of La Rioja in Logroño, Spain. I had a chance to work with Juan Carlos Sancha at his Ad Libitum Winery in Baños de Río Tobía, La Rioja, Spain. We participated in the 2011 harvest, analysis and watched as the fermentation process began at this artisan winery.
For all those wine geeks, ie. Enologists, like me, who love a bit of enology technology, I have included what I believe, is the wave of the future in terms of destemmers. This is a German EuroSelect destemmer that uses rotative rubber hands to de-stem the grapes in a kinder, gentler way.
As part of the Wine Bloggers Conference, we are at Hawks View Cellars in Washington County, Oregon with A.J. Kemp, owner and 2nd generation winemaker, who has taken the time to show us his beautiful winery and allow us to taste some of the incredible wines coming out of not only his region but also from Washington and California.
Might I add their 2009 OregonPinot Noir is phenomenal? It is an incredibly full-bodied raspberry, cocoa delight.