Saturday, February 27, 2010

Triage & Vinage

The very next day Russell brought his crew of groundskeeping lifesavers over to save the drowning vineyard. It was a searing hot day and very humid. Russell, Momo, Luciano (Gato), Mateo, Gabor, and I worked from 7:00 a.m till sundown. We got 3 rows of grapevines up and trellised and a lot of smothering weeds and vines whacked down. We also freed the pear, olive and other nearby trees of tree strangling wires and vines.

Many of the vines were sick with rot and mildew and the Italians on the crew wanted to prune them back severely. But I knew we were stressing them just to bend them back upright and expose them fully to the harsh Tuscan sun. Every leaf is a sugar factory and I wanted to let them use every one to recuperate. So we only cut back what was necessary to straighten and untangle them.

We put in some new posts and ran new trellis wire where needed.

And in the end, we had to prop them up with what we had on hand. Very contadino.
It wasn't pretty and it wasn't healthy, but Sally and I now had the start of the vineyard of my dreams.

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