I'm falling a little behind in this blog of ours! It was my intention to write more than once a month, but at a bare minimum once every month. And, as I see my last blog was in early May...I'm officially behind! :) However, that scenario goes right along with our vineyard work about this time of year. We are super busy and are working in the vineyard many hours each week. We are on a spray schedule, spraying the vineyard as few as every 7 days, or going about 14 days depending on the month and necessity. Also, we are doing many hours of canopy management, which is keeping the vines pruned and open so wind can blow through them and keep them dry and the clusters can get adequate light exposure. And, mowing is an ongoing task spring through fall. Other vineyards may not mow near as often as we do, but it makes a big difference with bug control and just keeping it nicer to work. Plus, my little ones spend a lot of time out there with us, and so there is no way Mama and Papa would let it get long for them!! :)
When we're not doing those tasks, we have a long laundry list of things that seems to get longer rather than shorter?? :) We have to cluster thin, which is removing some of the grape clusters from every vine in our vineyard. We are in Year 3, and our vines will only support about 1/3 to 1/2 of a crop, so we are making sure we take over half of the clusters off. Then, we take care of weed control within the rows, keep the trellis wires tightened and maintained, and it goes on and on.
So, in keeping with the intro to this post...we just know that we will always be behind and we learn to accept it! It is easier said than done, because we usually never have the entire vineyard looking perfect at the same time. Just as we finish half of the vineyard, the other half is in need of some TLC. And, then as we get through the 2nd half, it's time to start over again! However, as long as we enjoy the work, it doesn't really matter. We can work when we want and for as long as we want, and the vineyard will just be there waiting for us. That's the beauty of it...we just move at our own pace, and when we need a break, we simply take one! :) And, the great news is that our vines are doing just fine! As we head into July, we will just keep working on pruning and canopy management and will do a crop load estimate so we can find some buyers for our grapes! Then, towards the end of this month, the grapes will enter veraison and will start to ripen. The red grapes will turn from green to red, and then we will have to cover our vines with netting to keep the birds from eating our crop.
In the meantime, we'll keep our pruners going and I'll try to get back to this blog before the end of the month. Fingers crossed! :)