Anderson Road: Planting a New Vineyard
Planting a new vineyard that will produce premium grapes is a complex and labor-intensive process. Earlier this year, Jason Saling, vineyard manager extraordinaire, led this process for Lynmar with approximately 14 men and 4 women who laughed and sang throughout the tedious process. Briefly, here are the steps involved.
End-posts driven four feet into the ground at identical angles
- 1. Layout grid using GPS and laser to make squares throughout the vineyard.
- 2. Mark each vine position using cables with markers every meter cross-networked with cables with markers every 2 meters.
- 3. Install straws at each vine location, determine block cut-off points based on topography.
- 4. Install highway stakes (~3000 9-foot stakes driven 3 feet into the ground) for every 5th vine and second vine in each row ( install “rebar” training stakes (~11,000 5-foot rebar rods, hand driven ~18 inches into the ground for all other vine locations not at a highway stake).
- 5. Drive in end-posts (~340 9-foot posts driven 4 feet into the ground at a 58 degree angle (all identically angled).
- 6. Finalize irrigation design and blocks, install all underground piping for each vine row for drip irrigation.
- 7. Hand dig 14,000 holes each the size of 5 gallon bucket for each vine.
- 8. Grade and select 14,000 vines, trimming the roots of each.
- 9. Create a mixture of compost and soil for each hole, hand plant each vine, working in teams of two, each vine, re-compacting the soil around the roots.
- 10. Later, hand weed (with hoes) around all the new young vines to eliminate competition from aggressive weeds, re-disc the entire vineyard to eliminate weeds and holes from planting, test and flush all irrigation mainlines, connect all rows to the risers, flush drip hoses, close ends and install emitters for each vine (hand installed, every vine).
And there you have it! 14,298 vines are now taking root and preparing for the important task they have ahead.
Stay tuned next week for the third and final chapter of our vineyard planting series!