I’ve been a busy vigneron this past week.
About a month ago, my father and I drove up to Bakersfield and bought 90 T-posts. The plan was to replace the existing wood stakes with metal T-posts and to put in the same T-posts on the Montepulciano vines.
My father is more concerned with the vineyard’s visual aesthetics than I am. I am more focused on producing high quality fruit and, subsequently, good wine.
Nevertheless, he insisted we prime and paint the posts before we put them in. So, we bought some Rustoleum primer and Hunter Green Rustoleum top coat. We devised a simple rig for priming and painting: a two-inch diameter black PVC pipe with a cap placed in a bucket filled with dirt to keep it upright. We filled the pipe with primer (or paint, later), dipped the T-post in the pipe and used a brush to spread the paint halfway up the T-post. After they dried, we repeated the process on the other end.
A heavy storm prolonged the priming and painting process. It also toppled some T-pots and broke the water supply pipe, flooding the garden – in the middle of a rainstorm.
After the posts dried and the cover crop was cut, we replaced the wood stakes with the T-posts. On the Aglianico vines, this involved cutting the green tape holding the vine to the stake and cutting any lignified tendrils. One person had to hold and support the vine while another pulled out the old stake. Then a T-post was driven into the ground in place of the wood stake and the vine was tied to the T-post. Since the Montepulciano vines are just going to be trained this year, the process was a lot simpler in the Montepulciano block.
Afterward, I went through the Montepulciano block and pulled all the flowers on those vines.
Next: starting a sulfur regimen, Kaolin spraying and placing a Mazzi injector on the irrigation line.