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April 20, 2006

Weather Watching / New Planting Plan

Uh oh...

This Saturday is supposed to be planting day for the installation of 1 1/8 acre of new viognier vines, and an 1/8 acre of petit verdot which we will eventually blend with the cab franc. BUT the weather is not looking good - calling for severe thunderstorms starting tomorrow (Fri) night and continuing through the weekend. If you've ever been out to the vineyard after that much rain you'll know what a swamp it can be, even though it dries out pretty quickly afterwards.

So I got on the phone with Mike Newland, our planting consultant to talk through our options. I was hoping to push planting back a day or two to let the ground dry out, but both Mike and the labor crew are booked solid next week installing other vineyards. So I made the executive decision to move planting up a day to tomorrow.

Great, so I rescheduled Mike and the labor crew, but now I have to deal with organizing the TV crew because they want to make sure they get footage of planting day as background material for the HGTV Dream House series we're shooting. I call Sean McLaughlin, the producer in Colorado to tell him we've rescheduled. After a brief moment of panic, he tells me he'll call back in a bit. Sean calls back to say the crew is available for the reschedule, but that his flight doesn't get in until 3, but he'll be there as soon as he can.

So we get everyone rescheduled and ready to go. Now the only problem is where are the vines...?

Earlier this week I had called Vintage Nurseries to get my UPS tracking number. Using that I had been tracking the vines across the country all week, and knew that they had left this morning from Laurel, MD on a truck going somewhere. Called UPS and the person on the phone couldn't pinpoint where the packages (4) were, so after work Shannon and I picked Tristan up from daycare and headed over to the main UPS distribution warehouse for Northern Virginia, which is in Chantilly. The lady behind the counter was more helpful (though of course more surly) and advised me that since the boxes had not arrived in Chantilly (they were in Burtonsville, MD) to call later tonight to schedule an "intervention." This basically means once the boxes arrive in Chantilly in the early morning - 5 AM-ish - they would pull them off the truck and set them aside so I can pick them up first thing in the morning. OK, that sounds fine. So I called Mike and let him know that I would be able to get the vines first thing in the morning and that I'd be a little late, but go ahead and have the crew there and get the tractor in place etc.

Shannon, who by now is pretty upset that she might miss planting day due to AOL responsibilities, is trying to figure out how she can leave early to be able to take a few turns on the tree planter to actually plant some vines. She was unable to last year due to being very pregnant. So she decides that she's leaving work tomorrow at 2 in order to get out to the vineyard before 3. After we've figured out all this timing, we head home to settle in for the night.

Once at home, I call UPS and set up the intervention, and the plan is to be at the gate in Chantilly when they open at 8:30 tomorrow morning. While Shannon is feeding Tristan I start packing my truck with everything I'll need for tomorrow. By now it's almost 10 PM, and just when I think I'm ready to get to bed I realize I have no lunches for the crew tomorrow. SHIT now I have to run out to Giant to get sandwiches, snacks and drinks. I get that done, come home, pack the coolers, take a shower and finally get to bed around 12:30 AM Friday morning. Which is going to make for a fun day tomorrow because the alarm is going off at 5 AM to ensure I'm at the UPS gate first!

Posted by Stephen at April 20, 2006 11:38 PM