This week has been crazy, not just in the busy sense of the word but also crazy in the way that everything is growing like mad in the vineyard right now! Between finding support bamboo for those raucous rule-breaking baby vines that seem to endlessly send out new shoots where the tractors are bound to run them down, and keeping up with the task of lifting wire to support the massive amount of growth occurring with our more established vines, this is a prime time for learning all that needs to be accomplished and maintained in a well-run vineyard.
The funnest part for me is seeing all the changes occurring in the plants themselves. From the very beginning of the season where I was tasked with tying off the winter-stiffened canes that will provide the support structure for massive canopies of vines housing those precious grape clusters (a high-anxiety effort that had me convinced that our first harvest of Pinot Noir would be hampered by my amazing skills at knocking off those primary buds as they were just beginning to make their spring appearance), to this high point in the early summer where those canes are now absolutely overflowing with fresh green interlopers bursting upwards and onwards with no regards as to their harvesters intentions. Thankfully, after looking in on the Pinot Block, I enjoyed a huge sigh of relief to see that those poor victims of my amateur efforts managed to spring to life anyway and are thriving in the Okanagan summer that is seemingly on a schedule of its own this year!
Early days on the Pinot Noir Block
The work of lifting wire is relatively easier on the back compared to the task of suckering (removing all undesired shoots from the bases and sides of the canes), and is satisfying in the way that the work you’ve accomplished is highly visible – unlike how those darn suckers seem to sprout back overnight which would often lead me to question whether I dreamed of finishing a block of rows only to come back the next morning and see them covered in green growths – growths that reminded me of the days of rapid sprouting Chia Pets (remember those god awful things?!). Anyway, I included a before and after photo of one of the rows I worked on to demonstrate the importance of those handy dandy wires – they really wrangle those vines and whip them into proper shape!
Before – After
After a hard days work in the outdoors, I decided to indulge a little hump-day delight: a bottle of The View’s Silver Lining Estate Red 2015 (crafted with over 90% of our signature Pinotage blended with Merlot sourced from the Southern Okanagan region and just a pinch, literally, of Baco Noir) and a bag of my FAVORITE POPCORN EVER (YES, caps is necessary !) Queen Bee Buttery Bliss Popcorn – a devilishly delicious pairing that perfectly complements the bewitchingly buttery and ‘berryful’ nose of our Estate Red. This particular blend from The View always surfaces memories of going to the movies where the aromas of fresh popped popcorn and cherry cola have re-imagined themselves and found a new home in an adulterously enjoyable format. Honestly, I could just sit and swirl a glass of this Pinotage blend and be transported to wine heaven – without even taking a sip !
Now I am off to the sunny southern side of the Okanagan to spend an afternoon giving wine tastings to the fine people of Penticton. Cheers to all, looks like I’ll be searching for my next refreshing glass of Rose later on today if this lovely weather holds up – good thing I’ll be right in the heart of British Columbia’s wine country ! 😉
xo Babbling Bottles