Okay, so way behind on posts. Blame the CMO. She’s a slacker!
On April 13 our crew of vineyard professionals got to work on the top third of the vineyard, the section closest to the barn/future winery/tasting room. It took a crew of 12 amazing guys about 10 hours, one tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, and a lunch break to plant 964 Pinot Noir 667 Clone vines, and 1,845 Pinot Noir Pommard Clone vines. Final total, 2,809 plants.
While four of the guys dug holes, the others planted. It looked like this:
Then, it was time to spend some more money! To protect our new babies, er, vines, we enclosed them in 24-inch-tall grow tubes. 2,809 grow tubes. We were advised to go with a product called BLUE-X Shelters because they come in two parts so they can be shipped and stored flat. They also (supposedly) offer a variety of growing benefits (you can read more here here)—to be determined.
Unfortunately, because they ship flat and come in two pieces, these grow tubes have to be assembled.
One at a time.
For 2,809 times.
(CMO’s Note: We will NOT be dis-assembling them and storing them flat.)
Fortunately, the CMO’s parents saved the day, delighting in the opportunity to help in the vineyard without actually having to work IN the vineyard. Bonus: They got to sit down, too! About 1,000 tubes in, they politely asked if they might see themselves on the blog (READ: “If we’re going to get carpal tunnel from this task, we better be on that dang blog of yours!”). So, here they are:
On April 26, the amazing vineyard crew came back to place the tubes, secured around each vine with a 4-foot-tall bamboo stake stuck into the ground and inserted between the two tube layers. It took them just 4 hours (and one double-batch of freshly-baked double chocolate chip brownies) to place all 2,809 tubes. It looked like this:
So when all 2,809 tubes were placed, it looked (and still looks) like this:
And, because at this point the CMO has completely lost her mind, she took a few “vines’-eye-view” shots of tube placement. So you can now pretend YOU are the VINE.
Not to be left out, the winemaker practiced his tube placement technique, too:
On a serious note, this is a picture of the very first row of our newly-planted vineyard. This row of Pommard honors the memory of Kelly Lynn Armstrong Palmer, who was the CMO’s mentor and a dear friend. Kelly lost her battle with pancreatic cancer five years ago this June. Her life, and her fight for it, were the inspiration for us taking on this huge, life-changing winery project.
Stay tuned. Because these little vines have been in the ground for 6 weeks now (and encased in their little blue incubators for 4 weeks), we’re seeing a LOT of growth. More pictures to come.