Sheldon Haynie
March 5, 2012 | Vineyards | Sheldon Haynie


A long weekend communing with the tractor, from first sitting on the frost to load it at 645 Saturday morning, to loading back out Sunday afternoon, 8 hrs of riding the mighty BX2660 across the bumps, potholes and occasionally flat sections of Athena's vineyard. 

The task was to mow the vineyard and flail shred the prunings, so that they can be tilled in. Its amazingly cold at 8 mph in the shade, with the only sound that of the diesel and the whir of the mower. Remniscent of New England mornings with the snowblower, a task long since behind me. Time for reflection, if not for the simple need to hang on, and fend off the vines which had not yet been pruned. 

Later Sunday, while spraying under the wire to suppress weeds, I found the first buds just opening from the Merlot I had pruned back in January. We will probably get some frost damage, but it's a chance to see how much, and assess what the schedule for next year should be. The last 4 acres are being done this week, so we've split the risk, between early pruning with frost hazard, and late pruning with ripeness risk. Hopefully we'll get two harvests, allowing us to spread the load at crush. 


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