We have been working diligently in our vineyard this spring to get ready for the growing season. And, usually, the growing season arrives in April...but, not this year! As everyone knows, it has been soooo cold this spring, and our vines have just started to bud out in the past few days. That is, per our records, almost a month later than last year. But, it actually has worked a little in our favor because we have so much pruning to do this year. Usually, mature vines are trained to the trellis system and you work with the same trunk and cordons every year. That is the main growing section of the vine that gets bigger and bigger every year, just like a tree trunk. But, our vines are just entering their 3rd growing year, and the first two years, you have to let them grow a little more "wild" so they can develop. So, we have a lot more pruning this year to shape them for the rest of the upcoming years. If that all sounds a little confusing, just know we are STILL pruning!! :) I was hoping to be finished by the time I wrote this blog, but that's not the way things work out sometimes. We have, however, sprayed the first rounds of chemicals both on the ground (weed control) and on the vines (fungus and insect control.) And, my brother mowed the vineyard for us for the first time, so it is really looking beautiful.
So, the countdown has begun for us. We are about a week from completely being finished with spring work and are ready to start our spray schedule soon. Then, it will be CANOPY MANAGEMENT, as the viticulturists say. That is better known as, "Keep the vines from growing completely out of control!! :)" As I write this, it is about 85 degrees outside. Two weeks ago, I was out in the vineyard with my mom and we both had on 4 (no exaggeration) sweatshirts on, coveralls, hats, and gloves. And, we could barely take our gloves off long enough to tie up the vines. Oh, how Iowa weather changes! I'll take the 85 degrees, and will gladly put my coveralls away for the year! And, I can't end this blog without saying Happy Birthday to my mom today!! It just so happens I had time to write a blog on her birthday. And, so I hope you have a great day, Mom! She is out in the vineyard today without the assistance of her two biggest helpers, Landon and Ella. :) But, we'll make sure to get out there tomorrow because they can't go too long without checking on the grapes...and seeing Mama!! :) We love you Grandma! 'Til next time!