Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Working in the vineyard

It's good to get out of the cellar once in awhile. I've got a week where things are pretty quiet in the cellar so I'm helping out in the vineyard.

We've got Chardonnay and Vidal on a kind of modified Geneva curtain. For those of you not familiar, there's an opportunity just after bloom to pull down all the long growth from the top to the outside of the row. This exposes the fruiting zone at the crown. To achieve this you have to have some kind of tucking wire, as in many other trellising systems. We're installing a mobile wire. Instead of labouriously tucking each plant, the wire is pulled from the centre to an outside position and secured.
Along the way, it gathers and pulls down all the vertical shoot growth. We're innovating a portion of the system where the distance between fixed wire and the movable wire is maintained by a series of rigid plastic pipe sections about 16 inches long, one between every post set. The prototype row worked well so onwards we go.

Weather has been more seasonal with mixed sun and showers over the past 10 days and few temperature variables. Warm weather is returning by the weekend.