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50 West Blog

Welcome to the blog of 50 West Vineyards! From the trials of hand-tending vines in five different vineyards to releasing wines that our winemaker has carefully crafted, our goal is to share what’s going on at 50 West with you! We hope that you’ll gain knowledge and find entertainment from this blog. Located in Middleburg, right outside of Aldie, Virginia, 50 West Vineyards is a proud producer of high-quality wine in Loudoun County wine country.

 

Corry Craighill
 
August 16, 2017 | Corry Craighill

50 West's Vineyard Explained

We’re often asked ‘if we grow all of our own grapes, then why are the vines so small at 50 West?’ That’s because 50 West is our youngest of our five sites. The property at 50 West had excellent potential for a vineyard so that’s exactly what we decided to do - plant a vineyard!


Planting Albariño Vines at 50 West Vineyards

Not only did we see the potential of the Middleburg area and being surrounded by other sophisticated wineries but also a great site for growing grapes. Heading off the beaten path, Sauvignon Blanc and Albariño were selected instead of the more well known Chardonnay and Viognier, which we grow just down the road at our Sunset Hills property. Cabernet Sauvignon is also to your right as your drive up to our tasting room.  

As you meander up the driveway, you might notice that these vines have little to no fruit on them. But why? In the first two years of the vine’s life, we want them to focus on root growth and vine balance.

In the first year, the vines need enough leaves to support downward root growth.  Through photosynthesis, the vines generate enough energy to drive a deeper and more established root system for future upward growth.  Simplified: healthy leaves equal healthy roots!  

In the second year of growth, like our Sauv Blanc and Albariño, the focus is still vegetal growth.  If the cane does not reach the first wire of the trellis system, then we will continue to treat the vine as if it were still in its first year.  Why?  Because the vine is not strong enough and needs more time to establish itself.  


Second Year Cabernet Sauvignon Vine with Springtime Growth


Second Year Cabernet Sauvignon Vine with Late Summer Growth

If the vine is strong, then we will be able to select a trunk and cordon for the next year.  On the cordon, we will eventually get shoots which will then give us some fruit in the third year.  

Take a look at the diagram to see the breakdown of the vine in its first two years of growth.


Wolf, Tony; Reynolds, Andrew. (2008).  Pruning and Training. In Wolf, Tony (Ed.), Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America (p. 111).  Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  

 

The wait is worth it, if you ask our team! We’re patiently tending to these vines knowing that all of this hard work will payoff in the bounty of grapes produced in the future.

 

Emily Crawford
 
July 24, 2017 | Emily Crawford

Introducing 50 West's Blog!

Welcome to the blog of 50 West Vineyards!

From the trials of hand-tending vines in five different vineyards to releasing wines that our winemaker has carefully crafted, our goal is to share what’s going on at 50 West with you! We hope that you’ll gain knowledge and find entertainment from this blog.

Each month we’ll post an entry authored by various personalities from around the vineyard. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/50WestVineyards

Time Posted: Jul 24, 2017 at 7:46 AM
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