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October 15, 2005

Data / Measuring / Tying Viognier

Perfect weather for a day in the vineyard. Not a cloud in the sky, temp about 70. Have a few different tasks to attend to this morning. First order of business was to download data from the temperature loggers (will link to this info once I've created the charts.) Takes about 20 minutes to walk to each of the three data loggers, plug in the laptop cable, then download the data and re-launch the data logger. Cool thing is that you can set the data to begin recording at a future date/time, so I've been setting them to begin about a half hour ahead of when I start collecting data. That ensure they each kickoff at the same instant which helps the data analysis charts look a bit cleaner.

Next order of business was to measure the sides of the front vineyard block, as we are planning on putting some additional rows on either side. So keeping a minimum 20' between vines and deer fence I was able to put a 300' row, a 200' row, and a 100' row on either side. Note - 20' is a decent amount of space on the side of a row, but I recommend a minimum 30' (or 40' if you can get it) at the end of a row as headspace for turning the tractor around.

Our main rows are 400' long, so the additional partial rows work out to a full 3 rows, and given our spacing of 9' between rows that works out to exactly .25 acre. That will bring our total to 3.417 acres (or 3 5/12 if you prefer)of vines after the 2006 planting:

Viognier - 2 and 3/24 acre
Cabernet Franc - 1 acre
Cabernet Sauvignon - 7/24 acre

All this math may seem a bit silly but trust me it is essential once you start mixing chemicals. And you may ask wouldn't it be easier to make the math simpler by leaving off a row or something. Sure, but eliminating a little math isn't really worth wasting space. To a geek like me anyway...

So with all the managerial tasks done it was time to put on the MP3 player and tie up some viognier. The viognier went much quicker than the cab franc since we didn't get the same vigor. Thus many of the viognier will be pruned back to three buds in March in preparation for a vigorous second year. Without actually counting I'd say about 50% of the viognier will be pruned down, whereas only 10% of the cab franc will have to be cut down.

So I got 6 rows done, leaving 6 more for next weekend and that will be the end of vine games for the year. Then it's time to start on the end-brace construction!

Posted by Stephen at October 15, 2005 9:17 PM