Here is my vineman, fixing the field marker experiment before they set out to mark the vineyard field. He’s working on the front boom, which was to act as a method for the tractor driver to keep the course straight as he drove across the field. In the back of the tractor, the boys had rigged a marking boom made of rebar. The thought was the rebar would drag the ground and mark lines in the soil, which would be used as guides to plant the vines in straight rows.
They were able to mark the entire field and called it a successful Saturday.
This line is the center line of the field and their guide from which they carefully marked the field, both horizontally and vertically. Ultimately, the vines will be planted 5′ apart with 8′ rows by a planter. The last Rootstock was done by auger and hand planting, so we are pretty excited to have the opportunity to work with a mechanized planter.
There is also 600 or so vines in lot 12 that will need to be replanted this year, as well. The heavy snows did some of the poor vines in, snapping them at the graft.
Rootstock 11 is on its way! Special shout out to Kathleen, who was been planning this event for us, allowing us to work on the winery’s marketing needs! Thanks, Kathleen!
Above is the field where we will hold Rootstock11. On April 9th, we’ll gather with friends and family to plant two acres, one of Albarino and the other, Merlot. This particular acre holds great sentimental interest to me. The field was rented to the Raleys for rotational grain crop planting: corn (read my reflection on the plant, here), wheat, and barley. My favorite memory is the tender moment when my vineman and I stumbled across the fresh harvested barley field and it inspired my husband to sing “Among the Fields of Gold” —and we stopped a moment and captured a picture of how happy we were. This is the field my kids sledded down in winter and that I scolded them from running through once the field was sown. Then after the field was harvested, I can’t tell you how many times I carried boy2 up that hill—either on my shoulders or in my arms, because the poor little guy legs were just too worn. For these and many other reasons, planting these acres represents a major milestone. Our little Proof of Concept experiment is really gaining legs and traction. Every year, its another push of the flywheel towards our hedgehog concept of bringing you the perfect wine grape in a wine that keeps calling you back to the glass.
The reason why I believe Wine = Community is based upon times like these. I love the Rootstock planting event—there is nothing like seeing family and friends working together, laughing and talking and sharing the day. Rootstock09 had wonderful weather and was a glorious day—here is hoping that no matter rain or shine, we’ll have another event that people will feel happy they spent their day sharing in our adventure.