Spring Planting

Spring Planting 2016

(I wrote this a month ago. I’m only now posting it. Info still good.)

Today will be hot, I’m thinking 80’s. Saturday was in the mid 90’s, and my customers stepped into the tasting room with sweat beading their foreheads. The tasting room was a little stuffy, but a soft breeze cooled the covered patio. It’s the last day of May and after thinking summer would never come, here it is!

We’ve had more rain than we like, which is a much bigger problem later in the season during ripening. Right now we watch for disease settling on the grapes. So far, everything looks fine.

Spring Riesling

Every spring we replant vines as needed, and this year we added a new variety: St. Laurent. It’s an Austrian red (so is our popular Lemberger) which, if all goes well, will add to the cépage(blend) of our reds. We planted Grüner Veltliner (an Austrian white).

When vines die, John has to get out the shovel. No other way to do it that I know of.

She’s holding a few vines from the nursery. The European vines have been grafted onto American root stock to guard against phylloxera, an aphid that can destroy a vine.

After planting vines, we place milk cartons over them to protect the tender graft from the elements. The carton also helps protect the vine from rodents. We then stick a bamboo stake into the ground close to the vine and fasten the stake to the fruiting wire.

We make sure the graft is several inches above the ground. The vine will settle some, and we don’t want the European vine to send out roots and attract phylloxera.

Milk Carton to protect the vine.

The young vine will climb this stake, and when it’s tall enough will lay down along the wire making a cordon. Along this wire is the fruiting zone.

Today’s job (and for the rest of the rain-free week) is to tie the newly planted vines, which, after 2 and a half weeks of rain have put out some growth, to the bamboo stake to encourage upward growth. Believe me, after a couple hours of this work you can hear your spine creak!

Memorial Day weekend was hopping in the tasting room. We recently purchased the

chip reader, which we hate. When we can get it to work, it slows each transaction by about fifteen seconds. Fifteen seconds may not seem like cause to pull your hair out, but when you have customers strumming fingers on the counter, those seconds seem like an eternity.

We’ve done some landscaping around the patio. The job’s not finished yet, but already how pretty! Imagine sitting out here with your glass of dry rose’, roasted red-pepper hummus and pretzels (new in the tasting room), and a good book. Or better yet, sit out there with a group of friends sharing a bottle of crisp Chardonnay and a block of brie. We can supply the wine, hummus and brie, you supply the book or friends.

Our earthly life is short. Make the moments count!


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