Greg Schultz
 
June 2, 2015 | Greg Schultz

Vine Growth

 

It took us four weeks to install grow tubes on 1,900 second year Tempranillo vines.  We learned a lot about our vineyard and the health of each plant.  We touched every vine, crawling through the vineyard on hands and knees to sucker (remove unwanted/unneccessary shoots), and install the grow tubes which provide protection for the still young plants.  During this time the buds opened, leaves unfolded, shoots grew, and inflorescences (flower clusters) developed.  We were pleased to have lost fewer than 10 vines--which we will replace this summer.

May 6: Inflorescences clearly visible

May 28:  Inflorescenses fully developed

During this same time, Applegate Vineyard Management (AVM) helped us with the next stage of our new vineyard development by pounding in the steel end posts--50 new rows means 100 end posts (one at the end of each row).  These posts anchor the trellis system--each of the four trellis wires (irrigation, fruiting, and two catch wires) tie onto these posts--so must be strong.  The posts are 4" steel pipe about 9' long and are pounded 3' into the ground by a hydraulic post pounder attached to the back end of a tractor.  And they are heavy, as I soon discovered...

The area of the vineyard closest to the creek is very rocky--so rocky that the hydraulic post pounder could not pound the end posts in where we wanted them.  We contacted Fay Irrigation who had installed our irrigation system and a few days later Aaron Fay was out with his excavator to help us dig out the rocks.  AVM was busy with other vineyards, so I worked with Aaron to reposition the end posts as he dug out the rocks--this is when I had my "steel pipe workout"!  The rocks ranged in size from pebbles to microwave ovens.  The posts are all in and they look great!  Our Malbec vines are at the nursery awaiting our call for delivery.  We expect to be planting these 2,000 plants the end of June.  Lots of work left to do to get the trellis system and drip irrigation lines installed.

Digging out rocks for end post installation

Tasting Room Update:  

Our applications to the county and the Oregon Liquor Control Comission for converting our 60-year-old farmhouse into commercial space for farm products and wine have been conditionally approved!  We are finalizing our building plans and will soon submit the building permit application.  One day closer...

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