Friday I took the day off from the day job. We had traveled up to Sonoma the day before and I thought there might be more touring around on Friday but there wasn’t. We thought about going hiking but decided to help Jaye out at Crimson Clover instead. We had sent her out to thin the vineyard and it was going much slower than we counted on.
Stefania and I arrived about 9 am. We started by raising the wires on the first nine rows. We stopped on the 10th though and started helping Jaye thin. The growthwas much shorter starting in row 7 or so and we figured out that the crew had made a pruning error this winter.
Many of the spurs were removed and this was what was slowing Jaye down. Instead of removing one or two extra shoots from each spur she was having to pick one shoot out of dozens to reestablish the spur.
It is a set back for the vineyard. We’ll lose somewhere between 1000-2000 pounds of potential fruit this year. That would mean a ‘good’ yield will be about 3000 pounds. We counted on about 5000 this year. It’s bad but not tragic, the vineyard will recover.
I took the picture below of Jaye and Stefania working while I took a water break. We were able to finish thinning by 3 PM or so. We’ll go back in a couple of week and raise the rest of the wires as the shoots get longer. We’ll be busy thinning in all the vineyards over the next few weeks. It’s something we like to finish before flowering starts. We don’t want to do any work on the vines while they flower to avoid shatter.
It is also much harder to thin after flowering because the base of the shoot becomes hard. After flowering you need to use clippers to remove extra shoots. Right now we can just snap the shoots off with out hands.