Apple Wedge Vineyard, Pinot Noir
We named our acre of Pinot Noir this year. As seen from the top of our new pond, with apple trees on either side, Apple Wedge Vineyard was an obvious, yet poetic, choice.
The old vines didn't survive through the winter, like so many of the vines in the valley, they had to start over from the roots up. Since many of our noir vines suffered last year with crown gall and grasshoppers, the fresh start did them good. Our friend Robert did the initial pruning job in the early spring, he showed no mercy. Then same amazing crew that tied up Meadowlark made quick work of the rest.
We still have to fill in the missing older vines and complete a row to the east and west, then we'll see. We're trialing five table grape varieties presently and may decide to expand in that direction.
In June we planted 3 clones of Pinot Noir — Swan, 777, Wadensvil, and Precoce, a new British Coumbia clone for a total of 440 new vines. The heat during June was brutal and lasted nearly all of July. Wink, Erik, and Max sweated out the planting inspite of the heat, occasionally jumping into the pond fully clothed to cool off!
Our yield from Apple Wedge this year was one filled tote, or about a gallon and a half of pinot noir. Next year we expect a full harvest if the weather cooperates!
Meadowlark Vineyard, Pinot Gris & Pinot Muniere
While we worked on the infrastructure at the farm — the irrigation, pond, and bar foundation — the southern vineyard remained out of sight and mind. We were amazed to discover, although not totally shocked, that the burgeoning weeds of last year had converted to a new species of weeds this spring. The mustard, vetch, and something that smelled like a mint completely hid the bamboo. Aaron picked his way carefully through the rows with the mower after Max removed the metal posts lurking in the rows (we were unable to set them as planned). We were able to set the end posts in the early spring with the help of nearby Highwire Ranch owner Dave Whittlesey and his New Zealand post pounder however.
The second year of vineyard establishment is the most time consuming. We had to pound posts every 5 vines, run headwire for 26 or so rows, then tie 5000+ grape canes onto the bamboo and headwire while pruning. We did a lot in a couple of weeks, we were rushing to complete the work before the end of July. At that point the canes on the headwires will form the fruiting buds for next year.
Fortunately we were able to find a crew of 9 guys who were great help!
We harvested the half acre of old Pinot Gris in October at 23 brix. We used the barn's concrete foundation for pressing, a good contrast to last year's harvest during snow and rain.
Early February we spotted robins flying through the lower twelve, as we call our vineyard acres.
These are the Noir vines awaiting pruning
The vines are looking good overall. We will begin pruning them in April, possibly March depending on the weather.
We brought up new canes of Pinot Noir in the upper vineyard last spring and summer and will remove the canes damaged by crown gall as well as crooked canes. Straight canes reduce the risk of later injuries, like machinery bumps and winter injury, which trigger phage in crown gall infected plants.
This spring we plan to pick up 650 Pinot Noir canes in Everett, Washington. We chose several different clones, to complete this vineyard that started before we bought the farm. End result will be about one acre.