Alta Marfa

A Vineyard and Winery Estate in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.

26. More than just Cabernet!

The final push has begun to get everything ready for planting before the end of April. About 75% of the area of the vineyard has been cleared and weed-wacked, and 1,000 vine holes have been drilled! (Thanks Chris! Only 5,000 more to go!) Also, progress is being made toward finishing the irrigation system, which will be 100% SOLAR POWERED!

 After some practice, Chris was able to drill up to 90 holes per hour.

After some practice, Chris was able to drill up to 90 holes per hour.

 1, 000 holes done, 5,039 left to go. The Bobcat will not be able to be used for the upper part of the vineyard because the terrain there is both too steep and too rocky. The holes may have to be pried open with a digging bar. Please let me know if anyone has any great ideas!

1, 000 holes done, 5,039 left to go. The Bobcat will not be able to be used for the upper part of the vineyard because the terrain there is both too steep and too rocky. The holes may have to be pried open with a digging bar. Please let me know if anyone has any great ideas!

 These are the control valves that will send irrigation water to ten independent irrigation zones that cover different parts of the vineyard. The system will be completely solar powered and remote-controlable from a smart phone.

These are the control valves that will send irrigation water to ten independent irrigation zones that cover different parts of the vineyard. The system will be completely solar powered and remote-controlable from a smart phone.

Over 20 people have already confirmed that they will be planting vines at Alta Marfa at the end of April. Thank all of you so much! I know there are still many of you who are working on making travel arrangements, but there are also quite a few of you who have told me that you want to join us, but who I haven't heard from in a while. If you are still interested in joining all of us out in the desert, please contact me!

What we will be planting has changed slightly, and definitely for the better. Instead of planting just Cabernet Sauvignon, I have added test plots of 25 vines of a bunch of different varieties. These will definitely be an experiment and it will be very exciting to see what thrives and what doesn't. Below, you can see all the different varieties that will be planted along with which root stock each is grafted to, and the number of vines of each. Below that, there are links that you can click on to learn a little about each variety. I also reduced the total number of grape vines from 7,250 to 6,039. This change was to give a little extra space in between the vines to make sure they won't be too crowded. Originally, the plan was to train the vines along wires, but once the plan changed to head training the vines, I thought it made sense to gives the vines a little more space.

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Cabernet Sauvignon     

Albariño

 Vermentino

Carignane                                                       

Picpoul Blanc

Mourvedrè                                     

Rousanne

Teroldego                                                          

Petit Manseng

Negro Amaro                                             

Greco di Tufo

Syrah                                                               

Fiano                                                                                                                                              

Sauvignon Blanc

 

 A pretty cactus growing right out of the rock!

A pretty cactus growing right out of the rock!

 Another sunset...

Another sunset...

 The composting toilet is now composting! Come try it out! (don't worry there will be walls)

The composting toilet is now composting! Come try it out! (don't worry there will be walls)