Not everything I do is fun and games with wine and grapes, from time to time there is some real work to be done in the vineyard. So, today I tied my hair up under my plant pot shaped hat (thank you Thud), and went about the business of increasing the vine count, here in Vinoland, by planting baby bench-grafted Pinot gris vines (Clone 4).
The preparation yesterday and the actual planting today just happened to coincide with the two hottest days we have had thus far in 2009; 100 F and 102 F. Scorchio!
When planting bench-grafts it is important to protect the head, and any tender emerging shoots, by mounding earth at a depth of a least two inches over the bench-graft. At the nursery, the bench-grafts are kept in cold storage and depending on how long they have had to warm up, before being planted in their final resting place, they start to push out shoots that will eventually become the trained vine we all recognise.
Vinomaker and I were a little delayed in getting the bench-grafts planted in a timely fashion (due to the previously blogged tree stump debacle). Our babies had pushed out up to 4 inches of shoot growth in some cases. The corresponding protective mounds were more like ancient Egyptian pyramids than something that should have resembled puny mole hills. It took a lot of shovel work...and a lot of soil!
However, our efforts were cut short. One of the bundles turned out to be Pinot noir (also Clone 4), so we were finished planting a little bit sooner than we anticipated. I have a call in to the nursery which supplied the bench-grafts.
In celebration, albeit a little premature because we will have some extra planting to do, we are now sitting on the deck enjoying a glass of Vinomaker's 2008 Pinot grigio from the currently producing vines. Delicious.