Hello from the Vineyard!
It is that time of year where everything is growing from vines, to grass, to weeds. We are busy in the vineyard thinning vines, removing suckers from the vine trunk, and tucking the shoots up into the trellis wire.... In some more exciting news, we planted new Chardonnay vines! We have had to rip out a good amount of vines over the past two years due to winter kill and disease, so this spring we replanted about 2 acres in a block that has been partially bare since last spring!
Vines are typically planted in the spring from either dormant bench grafts or green potted plants. Here at Karamoor we use dormant bench grafts, and this year will be hand planting the vines. When we receive the vines from the nursery they look like sticks with roots. It is hard to believe that they will grow into these strong producing vines in just a few years, but that is the beauty of nature!
We planted two acres of all Chardonnay vines. We planted a variety of clones and rootstocks to give a great blend of fruit, floral, and brightness to our chardonnay (even though wine will not be produced from these vines until 2018).
Here is a little inside scoop into what goes into developing a new vineyard site:
There are several steps to getting a field prepped for planting. First we need to till up and level the ground for good soil aeration and even planting. Then we start pounding in the line posts, this is our main structure for our trellis system, which is used to support the vines. Once all the line posts are in the ground, we use a template to place straws to mark where the vines will be planted. Then, we have our skilled crew come through and dig holes. Planters follow close behind to place the vine at the proper height and in line with the poles, so they won’t be in the way of the tractor. Once all the vines are set we apply two lines of wire to the poles; one to hold the irrigation line (young vines need plenty of water) and the other to hold a pencil rod for training. Then, we apply unused milk cartons to the plants to help them start straight and rapid growth.
We just finished this whole process on Wednesday of this week, and now we wait for the vines to start their growth. This year the vines will only grow to be about a foot and half to two feet tall. This winter they will be pruned back to two buds, and the new growth next spring will start to produce their life long trunks.
I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend, try to stay dry, and drink lots of Karamoor wine! Don’t forget our great sale on Rose (20% off full cases) and our 2009 Merlot Picnic Wine, great for graduation parties, BBQ’s or just because it’s Friday!
If you have any questions regarding the vineyard please leave us a comment. It is always great to hear from you!
PS. Here are our newly planted baby vines!: