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Hey all you cool cats and kittens.

 

With all the Covid-19 craziness out there, we have found ourselves tour-less.

 

Don’t worry folks! During this temporary downtime, we have gone back to how I started in the wine business by returning to vineyard and production work.

 

We are very lucky to have friends that operate a vineyard consulting business. And even more blessed that we can help them stay on top of all the numerous acres they manage.

 

We have been doing vineyard work for about 3 weeks now and will continue until some sort of normalcy returns to the world – when the venues we visit are able to reopen to the public.

 

Last week we spent lots of time attaching bird/insect netting to rows and rows of plants.

 

This process breaks down into a few steps.

 

1. Unpackage and lay out the netting.

We do this by loading a roll of netting into the bed portion of an UTV. Then we create an anchor point by tying the net to an end post. Next, we drive to the end of the row effectively laying out the approximate amount of netting needed for that row.

Birdnetting in the vineyard

 

2. Hanging the nets.

After we have rolled out enough netting for the row, we will walk down while grabbing one edge of the net and attach it to the first catch wire on the trellis. We accomplish this with binder clips.

 

The point is to get the bottom edge of the net close enough to the drip line wire to attach it in step 3.

 

3. Attaching the net.

This is the longest part. it’s not particularly difficult to do but it is time consuming to say the least. (Insert Cadye complaining about missing our tours and guests during this process).

Smiling

 

Using zip ties, every 2 feet or so, we make our way from one end of the row to the other. No sweat, we have sweet stools with wheels on them that we scoot from spot to spot. At this point, they have all been given names of endearment…

 

Names like Tim the Stool Man Taylor, Carty B, Zipperachi, and Scooter McGavin.

 

Ok, back to business here, once the nets have been attached to the drip line wire there is one more super important step.

 

4. Bundling the nets to keep them off the ground.

Back to the wheels! This step requires taking the netting off the ground and securing it with specialized rubber bands to keep it off the ground while we wait for the fruit to develop.

Gathering bird nets

 

And that’s it.

 

Once the fruit starts to develop sugars we want to keep all the critters away from it to make a crop of grapes. That’s when we remove the rubber bands, and raise the nets to protect the beautiful, beautiful fruit.

 

We will keep updating everyone on what we are doing out there and when everyone opens again so we can get back to what we do best!

 

Cheers.
XOXO,
Clint Thomas
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Tour coordinator and event planner.

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