Frost Bite

It’s time for all you valued readers to take an emotional roller coaster ride with me.  Dig deep and use your imagination. Don’t forget, “you can grow ideas in the garden of our mind”.

Think back to the first time you watched Rudy. That little guy finally made it onto the field after being doubted by everyone; including his family. Not many movies (aside from It’s a Wonderful Life, of course) have caused men around the world to leave the room right as Rudy is being carried off the field; with his dad and brothers clapping and smiling, so that they could “use the bathroom” or “hang dry wall” rather than be seen with streams rolling down from their eyes.. This is how I felt at the beginning of the spring of 2014 when the majority of our vines were showing life through bud swell, break, and the first leaves.

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Now, I ask that you move to your mind to the thought of a movie marathon that features only 3 clips from various Disney movies: a) Simba and Mufasa after the stampede b) Bambi and his mom c) Beast becoming non-Beast and stuck in boring, weak human form…. Think of watching these three clips on a continuous loop for a few rounds. This best describes my feelings on the afternoon of May 18th when I realized that a mixture of a freak late-season frost and/or some fungus made its nasty presence known in a vineyard just coming to life:

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As we approached the vineyard that fateful evening, I told my wife, in my most capable Gimli son of Gloin impersonation, “this is no vineyard… it’s a tomb”.

Some of the best advice I received was from a) Dave Fansler: “the best thing for a vintner to do after a late spring frost is avoid the vineyard for 8 days. That way you don’t see the damage, new leaves will push off the old ones, and you won’t lose any sleep” and b) Katy: “don’t worry so much, you drive me crazy sometimes”.

As predicted by most everyone, a mix of warm weather, rain, and a WHOLE BUNCH of hard work that included scraping, raking, pulling, tying, and sweating, life has returned to the vineyard.  It has been said that the best irrigation for a vineyard is the vintner’s sweat, and I consider our vineyard thoroughly irrigated.

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Finally, allow your mind to wander to that glorious feeling of Charlie Brown as he approaches his once-ridiculed Christmas tree that is now decorated and shining on as his friends sing a familiar tune. That’s basically where I currently reside in vineyard emotions and it should stay… at least until the next minor setback.

That’s farming!

Oh, and this marks the 50th post on the blog. In my mind that means we should say something important.. So keep your fingers crossed for more exciting news in the coming months including…. wait for it…. actual wine for sale! There’s a thought. Stay tuned for details.

Cheers!

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