Saturday January 19th we began pruning the Winderlea and Meredith Mitchell vineyards much to Donna’s chagrin because it was not yet St Vincent’s Day.  St Vincent is the patron saint of winegrowers and the 22nd of January is his celebration day.  It has also become the unofficial day to begin pruning.  We were still pruning on the 22nd so perhaps that counts.  No matter when it starts, pruning marks the start of the viticultural season for us. On these days, our skilled crews cut off the prior year’s fruiting cane and select a new cane for the coming year.  These decisions, made one by one for tens of thousands of vines, are one of the first and most critical determinants of the vintage ahead.  Pruning begins a new verse in the rhythm of the vineyard and this one has just begun.- Bill Sweat, Proprietor