in     by  10-01-2016

Sometimes it is really helpful to get an overview of your situation - especially when life is a bit overwhelming!

Work on the vineyard has definitely been fairly daunting over the last few days.

At the moment we are in the midst of "doing laterals", which means removing the side shoots sprouting vigorously from the main fruit-bearing shoots.  This allows more light and air into the area around the fruit, and also allows the vine to concentrate its energy into fewer leaves and shoots.

But, this is a job that requires quite a bit of concentration and care, especially for us "newbies" in the viticulture arena; imagine the dismay when you break off, or snip, the wrong shoot and end up holding a shoot which has a lovely plump bunch of young grapes on it - yikes!

Although it would be a lovely job if there were only a few rows to do, when there are 150 rows in total and each row is taking well over two hours to complete...time becomes an issue.  The pressure to be faster and more efficient, but also just as careful is definitely on.  I worked as hard as I could and still seemed to progress at a snail's pace, so at the end of a day's labour it seemed to be an overwhelming task before us.

Paul did tell me that the rows we were working were the "long ones" but I didnt have any sort of relative perspective to compare "long ones" to "average ones" or even "short ones".  So this morning, after a solid night's sleep, I resorted to Mr Google.  I brought up a satelite view of Grey Ridge Vineyard, and was delighted to see that the rows we had been working yesterday ARE the longest on the whole property - BY FAR!  They are the rows closest to the house.

All of a sudden the job, while still being several weeks work, seems manageable.

If we were on our own it would still take us weeks, but fortunately we are not on our own.  We not only have our viticulture expert helping us, but we have the "hungry horde" as I call them. They are seven college students staying with us between semesters. They are happy to have a place to stay and don't mind helping out.  It is amazing how much work 7 extra willing pairs of hands can get through - thank God!