I know I shouldn't post right on top of Paul's blog so soon, but I can't help it.
Over the weekend we got some together time in the vineyards and it was a blast. It's silly and a little goofy, but I love to sucker the vines. (it's especially fun because we get to hang out, kind of like a day off, but it's really work)
It's a lot like when I talk about pruning, it's something we do opposite each other down each row and the mindless work lets us hang out. I really enjoy it, even when he gets ahead of me or jumps to the next row. There is something therapeutic about walking at a leisurely pace, thinning the upper spurs as necessary and bending over to nip off any suckers. It kills my back for sure, so the chiropractor yells at me, but it's great for my thighs and buttocks, so the trainer at the gym cheers me on. It's very Yin and Yang.
One thing I like about this task is that it lets me view each plant and get an overall feel for the vineyard for the upcoming year. The first shoots of spring are very indicative of how well yields will be and how healthy the site is. Paul mentioned doubt about the new pinot site we are taking care of and after our visit over the weekend, we're both feeling confident about the grapes we'll raise there.
The plants had been poorly maintained last season so we did an aggressive pruning to help bring them back to life and to a more "normal" state of training - and it worked. I'm not getting too far ahead of myself I don't think, but I'm confident we'll have plenty of quality fruit for our next Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot.
As for the "estate" vineyard in suburban San Jose, it's doing fantastic! I'll do more photos in another few weeks, after the shoots make it to the cordon wire. At least now the wire farm looks like it has a purpose finally.