This is the time of year that we engage in purely routine regular tasks like mowing, removing suckers, spraying fungicide, and tying vines to the trellis. When we tie new vines, we are also tying them to the pencil rod so their trunks grow straight up. This is not just to make them look good. Almost perfectly shaped vines are essential when we use vineyard mechanization to prune and eventually to harvest. We tie the vines up with a jute string which is intentionally biodegradable. If we used wire, plastic, or rubber ties, they would eventually girdle and kill the vine.