Sunday, June 07, 2015
Each row in the vineyard has its own irrigation line and each line has a cap and valve at the end. Working at either end of the rows, Vinomaker and I flushed water through each of the lines to clear out anything that may have accumulated in the lines since the vines were last watered in October of last year. (Also, every emitter along the irrigation lines are checked for blockages and replaced if necessary.) And because we are on a well in Vinoland, the accumulation-culprit is always ferrous iron. Well, the water in the lines was ferrous (completely dissolved) when it went in, but, as you can see in the photograph, it comes out as ferric (no longer dissolved). Hello, oxidation.
Making up about 5% of the earth’s crust, iron is one of the earth’s most common elements. Although present even in city/tap water, iron is seldom found at concentrations greater than 10 mg/l. As little as 0.3 mg/l can cause water to turn a rusty colour. But it's a great colour.
The Pinot grigio vines didn't care about the colour of the water, they just enjoyed their long, cool drink.