It is amazing what a little frost can do to a vineyard in October. Depending on the variety, age of the vines, exact location in the vineyard, and how cold it gets and for how long, one frost is enough to send vines into winter dormancy. What that means is that the sap in the canes and trunk moves into the roots where it stays for the winter. While we can’t see the sap movements, we can see that the leaves curl up, turn a dark color, and drop off in windy weather. The vineyard changes from a largely green space to one where the vines are almost invisible because they now consist only of the trunk and canes. So, for the Tassel Ridge vineyards, some are still green and some have clearly gone into dormancy as of Sunday, October 16, 2016.
All of the posts in new vineyards are now pounded. We will try to straighten up some posts that have been tilted to the east by the prevailing wind and then return the borrowed tractor and our post pounder for storage.
This is the time of year that we do our last fungicide spray. This spray will reduce the number of fungus spores that over-winter on the vines and it will make the spring sprays more effective. Then, we shift gears and carefully clean and perform preventative maintenance on the Hagie sprayer. The final task is to repaint places where the paint has been scratched off during the 2016 season and then we put it away for the winter.
We will replace some inline posts in the Tassel Ridge and Meadowcreek vineyards that have been broken during harvest. Then, we will mow all of the vineyards. Finally, we will spray herbicide again in the new vineyards to burn down the strips where the vines will be planted.