Touring the Wintery Vineyard with Lucas

Wintery Vineyard and Winery

 

As the vines begin to go dormant for winter we spread hay on all the hillside roadways to keep erosion to a minimum.  Beyond its pragmatic purpose, the hay highlights the various routes through the vineyard beautifully.  Our cover crop this year is composed of Barley (nutrient sink, planted first), Legumes (nitrogen fixing, planted second), and wildflowers (pretty, planted last).  We are just beginning to see the first barley and legume seedlings as their sprouts begin to peek.

 

Steamy Compost

 

The compost program this year differs from the past in that we are applying selectively rather than blanketing each row.  The focus behind this change is to keep our farming costs sustainable while still providing the vines with the nutrients they need for their spring awakening and subsequent development.

 

Fallen Oak Branch Yoga-ing

 

As an aside to our navigation through the vineyard today, Lucas and I took a peek along the northern ridgeline after catching a glimpse of some wild pigs.  The fallen branch above seemed to be posing intentionally, so I snapped a quick shot of its contortions.

 

Pond and Straw Trails with Morning Mist

 

It is absolutely breathtaking to view the property from the various high points surrounding it.  This picture almost captures a hint of the beauty we experienced at the time.  Vineyard hike anyone?

 

Ridgeline and Soil Profile

 

Toward the top of each hillside it is possible to see portions of the calcareous shale base where the topsoil has eroded away.  This particular hillside was also sporting a healthy  offering of solid quartz.

 

Sun Through the Branches

 

Nothing quite like the rising sun for dramatic shots.  This morning was particularly misty which is somewhat unusual in our vineyard.

 

Green Growth in 52

 

An interesting feature of our new plantings is the fact that their higher elevation and exposure has kept them out of the frost zone thus far.  Lucas informed me that cold air behaves somewhat like water in the way it flows and settles due to differences in density between warm and cold air.  The result is that the primary portion of the property (in a valley southwest of the photograph above) collects most of the coolest air and freezes first.  It will be interesting to see how long the leaves last in Block 52 and its neighbors.

 

Manzanita

 

Manzanita groves sit just beyond the outer fenceline among the oaks.  Their striking red bark makes me wish I had the time to explore bonsai.  Below is a shot of Lucas’ dog Kaya, guarding our transport while we hike outside the fenceline.  Thanks for reading and check back soon for more adventures in the vineyard and beyond.

 

Kaya in Regal Pose

 

 



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