Greg Schultz
December 1, 2016 | Greg Schultz

After the Harvest

We harvested nearly 6 tons of Tempranillo fruit on a Monday. A big rain was expected that Thursday. We had two days to get our first cover crop in before it got too wet in the vineyard. The previous week we had purchased 150 pounds of crimson clover seed and 150 pounds of winter rye grass seed from Oregon Vineyard Supply. Sowing these seeds produces two benefits--erosion control and nitrogen fixation. Erosion control preserves and protects the soil during Oregon's rainy season; nitrogen fixation restores the soil fertility that the grape harvest removes.It took us two days to mow all of the existing grasses in the vineyard rows and spread the seeds.

Getting ready to spread crimson clover seed

One of the highlights of post-harvest days is the Applegate Valley Wine Trail Fall UnCorked event. This year the region's 17 wineries hosted 600+ tasters on a self-paced and self-guided tour. Each participating winery poured two wines and offered complimentary food pairings. We teamed up with Quality Catering of Medford to serve our 2011 Syrah with focacia bread sausage pizza and our 2012 Viognier with spiced pumpkin bread. Debbie and Nancy served tasters who wanted to buy wines while Greg orchestrated parking involving cars, trucks, vans, buses, and limosines and visited with the tasters. It was a great event! We utilized our hay barn as the starting point for Syrah and pizza. It was a cool and rainy afternoon and we noticed that the roof gutters on the barn did not drain well and the ground got a bit wet. The day after the event, we got on our 20 ft extension ladder to investigate...

Barn gutter full of acorns--busy woodpeckers!

In my August 2016 blog I introduced you to our eleven chicks that had just arrived via the US Postal Service. We are very protective of them and it has been entertaining to watch them grow. They are great rototillers and just recently spent two weeks clearing the grasses and weeds from our garden site. Now their chicken tractor has been moved to the vineyard where they are allowed to venture out one hour each afternoon. The rest of the day they spend in their coop and the protected area immediately under it. They are happy and healthy and are helping in the vineyard by mowing and fertilizing!

Chickens foraging on some of the new clover and rye grass sprouts

Our four-month-olds aren't producing any eggs yet, but we are one day closer to a farm-fresh omelet...



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