Sunday, September 03, 2006
Ernesto Storms the Sangiovese
Dad and Gerald survey the damage due to Ernesto's storms
it was a full sunday's worth of work cut out for us upon arrival. the rain guage was full, so we had received over 5" of rain from the storms. the storm winds had also hit the proofing sangiovese row hard, real hard. the end post and several middle support posts had snapped low, and there they laid, grapes and vines akimbo. the storm and damage done didn't seem to stop the hornets or yellow jackets and they dreamily buzzed gerald's hat until i sprayed him with that avon "skin so soft" stuff that repels misquitoes. Chalk up another success story for avon, the stuff works on grape gorging insects! the first step in repair involved removing the bird netting and surveying the damage. ooof. it looked awful. we just kept moving, not thinking about the lost fruit, just looking at our hardy, patient vines and wondering at how flexible they were. not one ripped, snapped or lost vine.
Top, Snapped Sangiovese posts. Bottom, Gerald uses the auger to drill replacement post holes.
Gerald and his dad drilled new post holes and found suitable posts, setting them much deeper this time. the sangiovese is the first row in our proofing set and they take the heavy blows from wind gusts. Gerald and his dad did a great job, it was hard work setting up the new poles. the most difficult part of the work was the retensioning the cordon and support wires. its so much easier to put up the wires at the beginning, without the vines' weight, but here a whole summer's growth of vines weighed heavily down on the wires and made it difficult to stretch taut.
Top, Gerald and Dad retensioning the cordon and support wires. Bottom, Pull! Pull!
even my mighty guns were hoisting the vines, throwing them over the wire for better balance and then pulling and lifting as hard as we all could in order to get the correct tension. the vines looked like they felt better, almost immediately. i know gerald did!
Gerald says: "Who's your daddy, baby?" Oh, its you. Its you.