Winterizing the Vineyards

November 29, 2011

 

 

The weather is really starting to cool down, so we’re getting the vineyards ready for the first frost. Since the vines are quickly going through the process of going dormant, the biggest concern we have is getting the irrigation lines open so that the water inside doesn’t burst the pipes. The principle is similar to winterizing the pipes in a house, all of the water lines have to be left unsealed so that the expansion of any ice that forms doesn’t damage them.

To drain the lines, we first closed them off from the water supply tanks at the top of the hill. When we opened the valves down in the vineyards, gravity emptied most of the water out.

 Another interesting thing going on in our vineyards right now is that our cover crops are starting to sprout.

 

The little blades of grass are the Cayuse Oats, and the sprouts with the heart-shaped leaves are Mustard.All of the rain we've had over the last few weeks is really helping to kick the cover crops off. We're expecting them to be around knee-high by the end of December. It's important that we get a good start on our cover crop now so that it will be ready by the spring. Since we are organic grapegrowers we can't use any pesticides or herbicides, so we will need these plants in place to control weeds and pests when everything starts to wake up in the spring. The beans are larger than the other seeds, with a thicker seed coat, so they are taking a little longer to sprout. Still, you can find them starting to kick off if you look.

 

 To visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.

 

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