34. Planting Time is Here! 2019 Edition!
For the past 3 years Alta Marfa has consistently given me a feeling of being pulled in two directions at once.
At the end of 2016, we finally purchase the property that would become the vineyard. On one hand there was a lot of excitement, but on the other hand we still would have to wait years before we would have any wine to sell. In 2018 we worked extremely hard, scrambling like crazy, to get 6,000 vines planted. Once the vines were in the ground though, we would still have to wait years before we would have wine to sell. Several months later when we realized that most of the 6,000 vines we had just worked so hard to plant would never grow and never produce grapes. I felt I had failed. It was devastating. But at the end of the day we would still have to wait years before we would be able to produce wine.
Now we are about to embark on another whirlwind of planting another 6,000 vines during the month of April. We are more prepared than we were last year and we are super excited to put everything we have learned into practice, but at the same time we will still have to wait years before we will have any wine to share with you all. Starting to see a pattern?
You might be thinking “yea, the pattern is we are never going to get any wine!” We will all have to be patient together.
Vine planting starts in only 3 weeks! We are very excited that we have even more planting participants scheduled than we had last year. There is still time to join in the fun! Send me an email if you are interesting in coming out to the vineyard to help plant vines on a weekend in April.
We have been working hard every weekend since January to get everything ready and this post will show you what we have been doing. Special thanks to Promit and Paulina for all their contributions over the last few months. Couldn’t have done it without you guys!
The Alta Marfa vineyard will feature head trained vines (think gnarly bonsai tree looking vines) rather than trellised vines (think wires). In order to train the vines into the little tree shapes, each vine is tied to its own stake and trained up that. Over the past few months we have hammered in thousands (nearing 6,000) wooden stakes by hand.
Because we were in such a rush last year to prepare for planting the first vines, there were a lot of housekeeping type things that were just left undone. We have been able to get a lot of things tidied up over the past few months.
Because we are planting during the driest part of the year, the irrigation system is key. (It wasn’t even finished being built when we planted the first vines last year) This year we have fixed the leaks and just sort of made everything better.
Next blog post will be post planting so there will be lots of excitement to report back on! Wish us luck!