Sheldon Haynie
 
February 23, 2014 | Vineyards | Sheldon Haynie

Pruning and Pouring

We're out in the vineyards working hard these weeks, racing to get ahead of budbreak.

We started with pre-pruning using a hedge trimmer so the pruning crew can be efficient and fast. Alex and Chris have done 16 acres so far. We also have been spraying a mix of Glyphosate (round up) and pre-emergent herbicide under the wire and along the fence lines to keep the weeds down, now that we have had a bit of rain to germinate them.  Having the 25 gal sprayer in the bed of the RTV or in the tractor bucket for the narrow vineyards means we get to drive with one hand and use the other to hold the spray gun, which beats walking a mile per acre with a back pack sprayer.  

We started pruning in Soli Deo Gloria last weekend doing the Petite Sirah on the hillside, as there's little frost risk, this weekend we moved to the 5 acres of the Chirala Vineyard, and brought in our harvest crew to prune. We traditionally pay the guys cash and provide morning snack and lunch, as we work pretty hard and it's more efficient to put out food than have the guys have to pack a lunch. When you are working on your feet for 8 hrs a bit of sugar is just more fuel. 

Yesterday was clif bars and McDonalds, today we had Girl Scout Cookies and Jack in the Box.  On the way to pick up Gator Ade I was mugged by a troop of Brownies outside Safeway. They seemed surprised that someone would buy a box of each type, but then most of their customer don't have 8 hungry guys working.  While the cookies are more expensive than alternatives, their mothers are prospective customers, and took a card, We'll hopefully get the investment back soon. 

In addition to working in the fields, we have poured at several venues; Viva Los Gatos, Drybar Santana Row, the Campbell wine walk and SF Chronicle grand tasting.  Our wines are well received and we hope to see people coming to the winery on future open weekends. 

We have even been buffing up our social media presence, including joining Instagram and claiming our location under Foursquare. We're trying to keep our focus on making grapes and wines, with enough effort to communicate so that people are interested and come try them. 

 

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