Out at Broken Stone Winery, Spring has gone from a slow cool start to finish windy and hot. It’s the dry sort of weather where Norm, my farmer neighbour, starts saying things like “even the rabbits are carrying their own water”. Over our septic tank, the green growing grass quickly went from lush and soft to crisp and brown.
Grapevines love dry weather, and our clay soils retain water for a long time to keep nourishing their deep roots. So even as the grass wilts, the vines thrive. An explosion of green growth has begun the annual transformation of our barren fields into orderly hedges of vines.
Our crew has been tying up grapevines since the beginning of May. At last, they are painstakingly tying up and pruning the last few rows of Pinot Meunier. It’s a job that gets slower and slower. Each day the green growth on the vines grows another inch. A job that went quickly when the vines were still dormant becomes one of artfully weaving each cane onto the trellis, being careful not to disturb the greenery sprouting from it. Then the vine is secured to the trellis with twist ties.
The vines are doing really well so far, pushing lots of shoots, quickly making up for a slow start in the cool Spring. It will still be a scramble to keep ahead of them during their period of fast growth over the next month or so.