Our Vineyard Manager, Adam Nunnikhoven, is working on implementing several improvements for our vineyard operations in 2017.
We are trying out a tying machine that will be used on the vines. It applies a bio-degradable tie that secures the vine for a year or two without risking girdling the trunk or cane.
We want to be able to remove leaves from the east (morning sun) side of the vineyard rows. The rows are all oriented north-south. This will allow the morning sun to hit the maturing grapes and we hope it will help flavor development and reduce acid levels in the grapes. This is an experiment backed up with considerable practical experience based on temperate climate grapes. Will it work on Northern grapes? We will find out. We have two possible suppliers and we will compare which will give us a biggest bang for the buck.
Adam purchased several more miles of bird netting and now we need reels that it can be rolled up on. We have some, but are looking for a local fabricator to make more for us.
We were approached by a researcher at the University of Missouri who is looking for 2,000 to 3,000 buds they can use for grafting research. It is in our best interests to support research like this, so we will go and harvest them as soon as it warms up a bit. It should only take a day or two to get the job done.
And, the big project right now is to get our planning done for 2017. This will allow us to produce good grapes with a minimum of hassle next year.