The Vineyard

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I don’t exactly have a green thumb. Actually, that might be an understatement, as a cactus once died on my watch. We have two house plants now, both given to me by my grandmother, who has far more faith in my ability to keep living things alive than I do. And if we are being perfectly honest, their survival can be solely credited to Mr. B. I just can’t seem to remember to water them. Unlike the dogs and Mr. B, the poor plants can’t remind me to provide them with nourishment. It never bothered me though, because I never had much of an interest in gardening.
Until last year, when I got the bright idea to plant grapes in the hope of one day making my own wine. After a little bit of research, I learned that wine grapes do best when left alone. I can so do that! So, last spring Mr. B helped me dig up a little piece of land up on the hill (because slopes are best, according to my research) and I planted 20 little grape vines. I wanted to experiment with different grape because I wasn’t sure which would thrive in our area. I bought and planted four different types, two red (frontenac and baco noir) and two white (frontenac gris and chardonel). And then I spent the entire summer pulling weeds.

First we plowed the land, then I picked up (what felt like) about 400 million pounds or rock, which we later used to build a fire pit next to the vineyard.

First we plowed the land, then I picked up (what felt like) about 400 million pounds of rock, which we later used to build a fire pit next to the vineyard.

 

Mr. B, digging holes for the posts that will hold the wire. The vines are trained to grow outwards along the wire once they are tall enough. This helps keep them off the ground, and spread out so that the leaves can soak up lots of sunshine.

Mr. B, digging holes for the posts that will hold the wire. The vines will be trained to grow outwards along the wire once they are tall enough. This helps keep them off the ground and spread out so that the leaves can soak up lots of sunshine.


The first year isn’t very exciting because this is when the tiny little vines are growing roots and strong trunks. They do not usually produce fruit in the first year, so it was just a matter of waiting. This summer will be their second year, so hopefully they will produce enough grapes to attempt wine-making. I’m so excited! I love wine, and I can’t wait to figure the whole process out. I’ve been reading (and re-reading) this book,¬†and it has been so helpful and informative, from picking and planting grapes to evaluating the wine that you’ve made. So far, I’ve only been able to apply about a third of what I’ve learned, but hopefully, I will be able to put the rest into action this year. This fall I will harvest the grapes and begin the actual wine-making, but for now we will sit around the fire and admire the view with a glass of store-bought wine.

 

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