6. Alta Marfa Has A Home!
I closed on the property yesterday! Alta Marfa now has a beautiful 25 acre home. I am so excited to start moving dirt, digging holes and generally just doing things instead of just thinking about doing things. The area I want to plant at first will be 2 acres of vines. I have changed my mind and will be planting 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 3,625 vines will be clone 191 and 3,625 vines will be clone 337, each clone will be half on 110R root stock and half will be on 1103P root stock, for a total of 7,250 vines.
So, what’s next? Today I signed up to have an electricity meter installed on the property and I ordered a drone! In 6-8 weeks I will have the capability of shooting video from the air so that you all can see everything I’m writing about instead of just imagining it.
I have a final design for my weather station. Soon I will be recording live temperature and relative humidity at three heights (ground level, “grape height’ and 10-15’ in the air), solar radiation, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure and rainfall. All of this is connected to a base station which has cellular capability and will be uploading Alta Marfa’s weather data into the cloud around the clock. Because the vines won’t be planted until the spring of 2018 I will be able to collect and study an entire year of weather data before planting. Things to learn from weather data include: average thermal amplitude (the difference between high and low temperatures within one day), when is the first freeze in the fall? When does it start raining in the spring? How cold does it get in the winter? Because of the dramatic topography of the Davis Mountains all of these conditions can be different in locations that are not far away from each other. Having a weather station on site is the best way to learn the weather patterns of Alta Marfa’s very unique location.