During the summer of 1991, David Garcia our live-in vineyard worker sulfur dusted the grape vines in 100 degree weather. When I heard, I went out to see the damage and it looked like a war zone in the vineyard. I began to cry. I thought it was the end of my ranch experiment. I would not be able to continue to operate the ranch, the crop was gone, my family was right.
Over the next days, the grapes that were burnt shriveled up and underneath there were many more bunches of grapes that hadn’t been affected. This disastrous act turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The Zinfandel and Chardonnay vines had been overcropped and the sulfur only burned the exterior grapes; once they shriveled up and died and the rest of the grapes underneath were exposed, they flourished and we had a good harvest. In fact, we had a bumper crop of Chardonnay and we weren't able to sell it all.
Although we were still under drought conditions in 1991, we had some rain and the vines were able to benefit from that rain and produce a good crop.