Thursday, January 24, 2008

Snow on the Foothills!

Oh yes, snow! Have I taken any photos yet? No, but I've been waiting for the clouds to lift high enough to get a good shot. It's just about the same as the photo on our main page of the website, so you get the idea.

Anyway, we were up at Chaine d'Or last Saturday and Sunday pruning. I'm still passionate about this part of grapegrowing and call tell you for certain that pruning these old boys was much different than young vines. (I'll leave out the part about wearing a wrist brace all week and the blisters -- shhh, you're ruining the romance).

It was interesting to go through each plant, see where it was doing very well and where it needed to be retrained or cut so as to inspire new growth. Overall I would say we did great in the ten hours that we put in.

On Saturday we had morning fog which was nice because it can get very hot when you're out there with full exposure and little shade. The sun peeked out around 11:30, then by noon I was cursing it for being so hot and then glad toward the end of the afternoon when we made the lower section and got some shade.

Sunday morning, when we got up, I begged the weather gods for lingering fog so that we weren't working in the heat of the day again at noon with the sun on us. I even dressed in fewer layers anticipating another warm day (no thanks to yahoo or the newspaper on the weather forecast by the way). We got up there and it was foggy alright, but it was also misting, and cold, and a biting wind that kept whipping up the rows.

The sun peeked out for a scant total of about ten minutes over the course of the five hour day, barely enough to warm the surface layer of my thin fleece pullover. It must have been right around 3:15 when I finally yelled at the boss and said we have to stop, it's just too cold to be out here any longer. The wind was whipping up even harder and it was sprinkling on us off and on.

I kept saying it felt and smelled like snow. Like when you're on the lift at the ski resort and the next storm is about to hit, you can smell it. The air has that crisp edge to it. I felt it, in my bones.

On Monday we headed "over the hill" to Boulder Creek and got bits of hail and heavy downpours of rain. By the time we got to Highway 9 it was a full snow storm at the summit. I knew it!

We got home, Paul got a roaring toasty fire going for us and we spent some time chatting about the next round of vines to prune. I'll be sure to dress more appropriately and keep my mouth shut since I'm certain now the weather gods were listening.


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