• Winter in the Vineyard

    While things have slowed down for us in many respects these last couple of months, there is still lots going on in the vineyard.  We have spent much of the last quarter pruning our vines and doing other maintenance tasks.  We were fortunate to get some tutoring on the process from Roger and a few others (many thanks Frederic & Ingrid!) to guide us.  We also got a lot of great tips at the WIGA pruning workshop with Jessica Cortell from Oregon in January.  Armed with loppers and hand shears, we set about our task, soon realising that doing an entire vineyard this way for one year, let alone the next 20, could very well do in our shoulders.  We quickly invested in electric shears which make a huge difference from both a labour and speed perspective.  They also look cool (LOL).

    January’s monsoon-like conditions made it tough to get much done but the fine weather in February allowed us to make real progress and we completed everything by early March. 

    The interesting thing about pruning is just how much you end up removing from a vine.  Check out these before and after photos of a Sauvignon Blanc vine:

    Before

    After

    You also need to think beyond the current growing season and prune in a way that will help the vines to grow vigorously into a good shape for future years.  There is something satisfying about pruning, probably because you see the output of your labour right away.  So much of Zac and my previous work involved projects and initiatives where the outcomes or results were not immediately known or not necessarily clear-cut, no pun intended. 

    In addition to pruning and year-end accounting, we have also take a bit of time “outside of the fence” to pick up a new pump from McFinn Technologies http://www.americanwinepump.com/ in Portland, Oregon.  Many thanks to Rob for his assistance with the purchase.  The new larger 3” pump is bound to make life easier pumping grape must during our next harvest. 

    Portland is a great city for food and wine, and on our way into town we were fortunate to stop at Cooper Mountain vineyards https://www.coopermountainwine.com/  in Beaverton and sample some terrific Pinot Noir with sales manager Michael.