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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Brush yourself off and start all over again

It's been a week now since I have been at the vineyard. For the most part I have been in overdrive to get done what needs to get done. My Sunday is winding down and unlike the other night, I took my walk down the driveway in the day light this time. My driveway is a quarter mile long, so it is a good 7 to 10 minutes depending on my pace and stamina.
It is an inspection of what has been accomplished, and a realization there is still way more to do. I have just finished weed-wacking around all 2000 Cabernet Sauvignons....it took nearly three days to do them all. The difficulty was that I was making up for last year's neglect along with this year's growth. But now that it is done I can use herbicides to keep the weeds in check.
My walk is slow. The sky has those clouds that look like they were a paint by number picture. Shades of blue with a zig-zag of white throughout. There is a light wind....not as hot as earlier in the day but still warm nevertheless. I am drinking maybe my 12th bottle of water for the day. My hands are swollen from all the pruning and holding the wacker with its never-ending vibration. I can't even make a fist, but the good news is that I had one pair of pruning shears disintegrate in my hand, and the wacker's forward handle broke mid-way through the project. Bodily parts held together even though the man-made ones fell apart because they couldn't take the hard abuse.
When on a farm one must recognize that a couple hours a week must be planned for socializing. Yesterday my next door neighbor, an old time farmer, came over and said hi. We shared a couple local stories, he wished me well and let me get back to work. Today George appeared to pick up some cherry wood I had cut up and piled. George, along with his being a drummer in a local band, also loves to bar-be-que, and he wanted to try this type of fruit wood in his next ribs adventure. I was more than willing to contribute. Also this afternoon Alan from Summerwind Vineyard showed up. He has a nice vineyard located over in Smithfield and we on occasion share horror stories on the hard work constantly being challenged by the nutricious weed-growing rains and onslaught of black rot that comes from high humidity. It is nice to cry on each other's shoulders.....it is also nice to know someone who cares about his grapes as much as I do and has gone through many of the trials that I seem to be attracting.
I have so much paperwork to do but it just doesn't seem to get done. I have to layout the next expansion block, Block 3 for next year. I have already ordered 1700 Gamays (think Beaujolais) for next Spring and have to put together my requirements for Scuppernongs. The winery business plan must be put together, along with the permiting process that needs to get underway. And then working on the websites for the vineyard and winery to support all this effort from a sales / marketing perspective. But I am so tired at the end of the day I don't have the focus for these projects. Getting out in the field at maybe 5:30 a.m. to take advantage of the cooler mid-60's temperatures and working easily to 6 p.m. or so makes one not want to do anything more, even though dinner still must be planned. I try to think ahead here and make it easy and not boring. I have succeeded so far, avoiding attacking the cans in storage which provide basically filler, no flavor or imagination. Once I get past this, after having a glass of wine or a beer sort of puts me in a phase out mode. Paperwork no longer is a priority. It'll have to wait until I get home "to rest" I guess.

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