We were BORED! What do real vintners do in when frost and a pristine sheet of stolid whiteness cover their crops? I guarantee you it isn’t languishing in squalor and ennui. The first few months were entertaining enough as we planned, plotted, schemed, brainstormed, and ideated how to approach the coming season. That has long since went as sour as being the only sober person at an offensively themed party. We resigned ourselves to watching the grains fall through the metaphorical hourglass, each falling at an annoyingly bureaucratic cadence. I’d rather watch Two and a Half Men. I’m sorry… I didn’t mean that. We’d lost direction, attending local tastings and confronting less than distinguished looking strangers on the subway asking what varietal got them in such a state. What do we do? Where do we go? The guy on the other end of the phone when I order pizza grew sick of hearing about irrigation systems, my bus driver was equally frustrated by my constant mentioning of frost resiliency, and I’m not longer allowed at Target (unrelated).
We needed a beacon, a talisman to clutch and remember what drove us to this lunacy. So far, it’s been some else’s wine, curling (oh yeah, we curl by the way… dreadfully for the most part), and various cured meats. Soon there will be a Herculean amount of work and the Atlas-like weight of boredom will be lifted from our shoulders. The contest previously mentioned did churn up a winner and the little evil voice in my head was thankful that it was a local one. We had entries all over the world and it would have been a harrowing journey for the bottle that would have had to ship to Australia. As much as I love that adorable little prison, I selfishly would hate to send a bottle of wine further around the world than I’ve ever been.
Sorry we’ve been gone for so long, it’s entirely my fault. Apathy is a drug and I was seriously addicted. To recap the past six months, we awaited spring while sinking into our chairs. We’ve had just a bit of rain in Ontario this season (more on this shortly) and it has made for one hell of a season. Tragically however, our absence from the world of blogging has not gone unnoticed. Much like the disappearance of Persephone, Demeter has punished us with an aggressive growing season but no fruit to bear. The good news is every last little vine survived the long winter and wacky untimely spring frosts. The bad news is Demeter laughs while we toil in our field for another year waiting for Godot merlot.
Don your rally caps though, we have a new blogger in town to help carry the load like Herecles was tricked into holding up the sky by Atlas. Below is his first post from when he weeded in a thunderstorm… he lacks a sense of self-preservation. His name is Wylie and he wanted us to use wolves to keep the deer away… enjoy!
“Good news: our babies survived the winter! Went up to the vineyard today to do a bit of weeding, and man, have our plants been enjoying the recent rainy weather. Right now, our babies range from three to about six and a half feet in height and are looking quite healthy. Some netting/mesh that Brendan put up a bit earlier in the season has done a great job of keeping the deer out (no need for wolf pheromones, luckily), although the vines have a tendency to climb the mesh rather than the guide wires.
That said, it looks like the weeds have been enjoying the rain as well. I spent my afternoon in the pouring rain hacking away at thistles, crab grass and Queen Anne’s Lace. The grassy hillside is starting to get awfully close to the top row of vines as well – we may have to pull out the weed whacker next week to beat back the encroaching prairie.
About an hour and a half into my soggy vineyard visit, Bruce and Linda came back from brunch. Bruce imparted some knowledge to me he’d learned that morning. Apparently, the plants and grass between the rows of vines can be used to manage the amount of moisture in the soil. In wet weather, these plants are left to grow longer to take up some of the water in the soil; when it’s dry, they’re cut back so that the vines have access to more moisture. This fact was definitely in the “news you can use” category for me, since it meant I could avoid the week’s mowing with a clean conscience.
Anyways, I’m off to have a well-deserved bowl of soup and a shower. I’m cold and wet.