Thursday, June 22, 2006

I never thought a winemaker would be this busy in June

I must have led a very sheltered life.

Despite having been in the wine production business for about ten years, I'd never experienced what I'm going through this late spring-summer.

Usually the cellar is a quiet place for me at this time of the year. A little tasting, a little lab work, some planning sessions for the coming vintage; a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

This year saw an ownership change of the winery that is my prime focus and with that came responsibility for the whole 7 acres, inside and out. It doesn't sound like much but remember I'm the inside guy. It's been a steep learning curve. I've called in some favours and asked a lot of questions. Sure, I'm behind schedule. But it looks like most farmers are.

I've got one year old and three year old blocks of Gew and PG to tend. They need training and tucking. I've still got some wires to pull and anchors to install. We had to hand weed an acre of Chardonnay in a block we've nicknamed the Bayou because it sounds better than 'swamp'. We had to hand weed because I missed the envelope where I could nail the weeds with Round-Up and still miss the year old vines. We were inside wasting our time bottling or something.

I've got 1300 Merlot sitting in cold storage that should have been in the ground a month ago. Hopefully they'll meet the dirt on Tuesday.

I've got deer fence going up tomorrow and posts being pounded for the new Merlot.

I've just about completed the sub-surface irrigation for the new block with Scott Robinson's help and we figured it out by digging up some of the established lines and eyeballing the results.

I've got a nice tan on my face, neck, forearms and legs below the shorts and above the Blundstones. Just like a farmer.

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