The "king" in their name refers to their propensity to hunt and consume other snakes, including venomous rattlesnakes that are commonly indigenous to their natural habitat. When disturbed, California kingsnakes will often coil their bodies to hide their heads, hiss, and rattle their tails, which can produce a sound somewhat resembling that of a rattlesnake.
••• Honey-Brined Lemon Pepper Chicken •••
We were moving wine recently from the winery to the tasting room. This beautiful king snake was kind enough to hold still while we grabbed a bottle of wine and our camera. El Diablo seemed fitting. King snakes are great to have around because they will eat rattlesnakes. Here’s a some trivia on our little friend.
California kingsnakes are opportunistic feeders, and common food items include rodents, other reptiles, birds, and amphibians. All kingsnakes are non-venomous, but are powerful constrictors and generally kill their prey through suffocation.
It seems there is so much activity in the spring when the grapevines awaken from their winter dormancy. They tend to grow 4 – 6 inches daily. But in summer things slow a bit. Pollination usually occurs the first week in June. The green growth will begin to slow as we reach the summer solstice. Now is the time we clean out the irrigation system to begin the watering cycle. We will water the vineyard every 14 days, for 14
hours at a time. When the grapevine notices the days getting shorter, it will switch its energy from the green growth phase to ripening the fruit. It is also time to get the bird net out from storage, and stage the cups that protect the end posts and clips to secure the netting underneath. Time to set up the tractor and labor needed for this big project. It takes 7 of us, all day, to spread out the netting. A crew will spend another day just clipping the netting closed. Around the beginning of August, we will being berry sampling, testing for sugars, ph, and overall maturity of the vineyard. Harvest at Convergence usually begins about August 21st.
On our season's page, you will find periodic updates, recipes and little stories about life on the Vineyard. Check back as the seasons pass for the latest happenings at Convergence.
I am sweet on Honey! Wildflower honey has a savory, herbaceous quality that makes it pair well with chicken.
The brine in this dish tenderizes the bird, keeps it juicy, and flavors the meat all the way through.
Brine the chicken in the morning and it will be ready to grill or oven roast by dinnertime.
What? You think we have a break here? No rest for the wicked! After bottling in February, and after our futures pick-up parties in March there is still lots to do. Wine in the barrels needs to be topped. We lose about ½ gallon per barrel per month to evaporation. We will also be racking for the second time this summer. Racking is the process where the wine is pumped to tanks, and the barrel is turned over and power washed, removing the sediment from the bottom. The clean wine is now pumped back into its barrels. It is time to order yeast and nutrients as well as barrels for the upcoming crush. We also do a big clean up at the winery before harvest. It is also time to think about final blends for the next vintage.