My favorite job in the vineyard happens but once per year - pruning. And let me tell you what, with the new vineyards we've agreed to manage this year, I'm up to my eyeballs in pruning. I may have to reassess how I really feel about pruning after this January.
This kind of ties in to the initial romance of being winemakers and grapegrowers. Picture if you will a quiet tranquil morning, walking row after row of vines across from the love of your life, chattering all along the way, discussing each plant and how to shape it for optimal fruiting, all at a leisurely pace. Then you stop for lunch, a picnic in the vineyard, with nothing but the birds chirping and a light breeze rustling the tree branches overhead. That was Year One.
Fast forward to last weekend: Crazy madness, six of us this time, no leisurely walks through the rows, no chatter or banter or lingering over the plants. It's quick faced paced decision making because this is just one acre and there are 13 more to go, all before the end of the month. Oh yeah, and that picnic, a thing of the past, it was more like burgers and fries horked down well past lunchtime because we were so hungry!
Regardless of the pace and the fact that I no longer get to greet each plant anymore, I'm still very much enamored with this part of being a grapegrower.
I'm taking the camera with us this weekend and will get some photos posted up shortly.
Vineyards that we've already pruned:
Crimson Clover (cabernet in Morgan Hill)
Harrison (syrah Los Altos)
Elandrich (various, Portola Valley)
Chaine d'Or (chardonnay and cabernet, Woodside)
Woodruff (chardonnay and pinot noir, Corralitos)
Llama Vnyd (merlot, Bonny Doon)
Ottigurr (various, Santa Clara County)