Greg Schultz
February 22, 2018 | Greg Schultz

Progress on Upper Vineyard

This Morning in the Applegate

For the second morning in a row we have awakened to fresh snow. There is a lot to do on the farm today, but with snow still falling it's a great opportunity for me to sit down and compose this blog. If today is like yesterday, the snow will melt after lunch and we will get back outside.

We finished pounding in the last of the 600 line stakes into the new upper vineyard several weeks ago. With that accomplished the two block layout is well defined. The next step was for me to contact Oregon Vineyard Supply (OVS) and Applegate Vineyard Management (AVM) to purchase, deliver, and install 84 steel end posts--2 for each end of our 42 new rows. Jon from OVS delivered the posts and I helped him unload and stack them in the barn. It was a great workout. Each post weighs 60 pounds, so we moved and stacked 5,000 pounds of pipe in 1 hour. Remembering all of my back safety training I was careful to use my leg muscles for the heavy lifting. Love this farm work!

Viewed From Above, AVM Setting Up for End Post Installation

Installation of the end posts requires muscle and machine. I called AVM to come and look at the job. Consuelo and Alan came out and walked the site. Since the upper vineyard is on a 17% north facing slope they decided to use the crawler tractor with the pounder attachment for best traction. Ground conditions were nearly ideal when Alan and the crew came out for the work. The soil had enough moisture for the pounding to be easy but not so wet that the tractor bogged down. In 2 days all of the posts were in!

AVM Pounding In An End Post With A Crawler Tractor

We are working with Inland Desert Nursery out of Benton City, WA for the upper vineyard planting. I contacted them and was pleased to learn that we have a local representative. I contacted Jason Cole, whom we had met previously, to talk about our order for 2019. Our upper vineyard is a cooler microclimate due to elevation, shading, slope, and aspect so we are devoting it to varietals well-suited for these conditions. Just this morning we placed our order for Pinot noir (3 different clones), Chardonnay (3 different clones), and for something a little bit different, some Pinot blanc. Delivery is scheduled for May, 2019. The upper vineyard will be about 1 acre of red and 1 acre of white--250 cases of each when fully productive starting in 2022. Yum!

Next up is to plan, design, and install the irrigation system. Tom Fay of Fay Irrigation came out to walk the site. Tom helped us develop our creekside vineyard irrigation system in 2014 and has helped us immensely over the subsequent years. We talked through our options and settled on a course to take. I'm expecting his proposal in the mail any day now.

One day closer to an upper vineyard...



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