We're a week into the season of spring. But we're experiencing a bit of cooler winter-like weather. There has been some rain which is good for our crops during a drought but bad during blooming season. Many of our plum trees are beginning to blossom. So honey bees are in place throughout the orchards that are ready to pollinate. Spring is a busy time for both New Clairvaux's fruit orchards and vineyard. Preparations are made to allow for new life to flourish. Perhaps, the same can be said of our Lenten journey. In Saint Benedict's Rule for monks, he encourages increased time for lectio divina or Scripture reading during the season of Lent as well as practicing asceticism to allow room for God's word to take deeper root in our souls. In the meantime throughout the season of spring and Lent, the trees in our orchards, the vines in our vineyard as well as the monks at New Clairvaux prepare and await that great day when God raised Christ from the dead and all of creation along with him.
Our vineyard is undergoing expansion with the planting of a 3rd block. The first block was planted in 2000 with the Syrah, Albarino, Graciano, and Tempranillo varietals. In 2003, we planted the second block with Viognier and more Albarino. Our third block (2.25 acres) will be planted with a total of 1500 vines consisting of the Albarino, Muscat Alexandria, Trebbiano and Viognier varietals. With popular demand of white wines, we've decided to add the Trebbiano and Muscat varietals. The vineyard expansion project started in December 2011 with the installation of frost protection and irrigation system. With time and experience, we've improved our management practices with less use of chemicals, less water, targeting pest and diseases on time due to the purchase of a professional weather station which processes data every 15 minutes and allows this information to be accessed from any computer and/or cell phone around the world. This helps to improve the health of the vines and is better for the environment overall. A small contribution helps for a better planet.