What we mean by this is that we have an intergrated vineyard management plan which includes; canopy management, pest management and soil management.
Canopy Management ... includes all aspects of the grapevine above the ground (trunk, cordon, stems, leaves, flowers and grapes).
Pest Management ... is all the viruses, mildews, rots, as well as all the insect pests.
Soil Management ... is understanding the nutrient cycle in the vineyard, including maintaining a proper pH in the soil which allows for the optimum nutrients for the grapes.
Why is this so important? I am currently tasting this vintage trying to determine if we captured the varietal character that was present in the grapes at harvest and formed during wine making. As I am tasting, I have to ask the following questions ... Did we capture fruit flavors, acidity, tannins? Is there anything unique about this wine? Are there off odors or flavors?
So after tasting the 2009 wines and answering these questions, I am now ready to start the exciting aspect of blending.