My viticulture instruction has begun

Long slow process to make this happen.
Long slow process to make this happen.

Yesterday I received an email from the viticulture instructor at WWCC Enology & Viticulture yesterday: there was work to do in the vineyard and all help would be appreciated.  Well I am here to learn, so this morning I got up and out to the vineyard: we clipped bird netting over the grape heavy vines.

Having loaded, moved and unloaded boxes to move houses, pruned and weeded both gardens and moved plants between them, I am not totally out of shape.  Four hours and fifteen minutes, three rows of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and many clips later, I felt totally out of shape!  Squatting, reaching, tugging (albeit carefully), and sometimes falling (I am a klutz) on the uneven ground made for quite the workout this morning.

The clips
The clips

The good part is that I think I got the hang of it by the end of the first row.  The goal is to keep the birds away from the fruit and the netting in place without putting so many clips on the netting that removing them is problematic.  I couldn’t just clip the netting so the wind wouldn’t take it since I would feel terrible if a bird got caught inside the netting and couldn’t get out.

Gaps in the netting from prior use need to be closed up too.
Gaps in the netting from prior use need to be closed up too.

There are wayward branches, low hanging fruit, stakes, water-lines, and holes in the netting from previous years to complicate the process.  Once I found a rhythm fewer grapes popped off the clusters at me and I needed fewer clips to close the gaps.  My first row took nearly two hours, the other two were barely over an hour each.  I know I slowed over the last half of the third row as the sun was nearly at its zenith and there wasn’t any more shade to hide in.

Stan Clarke Vineyard, Cab Sauv row 1 is where I began my adventure.
Stan Clarke Vineyard, Cab Sauv row 1 is where I began my adventure.

Filthy from head to toe, I cleaned up as best I could to drive home.  Right into a hot shower, it was all I could do to lift my arms to wash my hair.  Thankfully my daughter was home to help slather on the icy hot; I took a Tylenol too.

It was fun to meet a few of my peers and a couple of second year students this morning.  There are still lots of grapes to go over with the netting, so I am sure I will work on more rows later this week.  Knowing I should keep track of my hours in the vineyard is a perk of being present with those who have completed their first year.

2 thoughts on “My viticulture instruction has begun

  1. You may have come home hot, pooped, & dirty but you had a gleem in your eye from spending time in a vineyard.

    Welcome to your destiny!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s