I am so excited, I'm expecting...more grapes that is.
The past two days, I have been tending to the Pinot grigio bench grafts that were planted late in the spring of 2009. All the buds had pushed on last years spindly growth and it was time to cut them back to two buds and place milk cartons around them. Just as I was finishing I noticed that the one rootstock that I had field-budded over to Pinot grigio last September had lost it's protective mound of earth and my handiwork was exposed.
Just take a gander at that bud-swell. This was perhaps my third attempt to marry scion and rootstock in this particular spot in the vineyard. Unlike Syrah, which takes to grafting like a duck to water, Pinot grigio is just so stubborn. Of course, I still have to unwrap the grafting tape and check that the bud is sound, in all its time under wraps it may not have formed a sufficient callous. But from my, all be it limited, field-budding experience I must say that all the signs look encouraging. It is very gratifying to have learned a specific skill and to actually be able to use it and not have to rely on somebody else to perform this service for me.
So fingers crossed and here's hoping that my buddy's non-specific cells have decided to grow up to be mature and functioning xylem and phloem.