Monday, November 26, 2007

wunderkind and other activities

Mike, sibling #3, doesn't make it to the vineyard often.
the previous 1.25 hp auger lasted about two weeks before it died, to be replaced with 8.25 hp 2-man unit. I worked this one with West Pete this weekend. Just about spun us around helicopter-style a couple times. Got 2/3 of a hole done before we broke it (see below).
First time with the new wine room, and temps are a concern. Pretty stable so far, though. I admit to being pretty pleased with the reds at this point. In keeping with my approach of tampering as little as possible with the fermentation to better get a sense for what the grapes can express naturally from their place, the malolactic ferm was skipped in all the wines.

and now, the latest goings on relayed from West Pete...

Yesterday Mike put in the remaining 20 end posts on the north side of lot 11. He also hung the doors in the wine room, fixed the auger after Gerald and I stripped a bolt, got the generator working for dad, put the baseboards into the concrete floor, cooked a steak dinner for seven, and probably made it to the legion in time to catch the Missouri-Kansas game. We probably won't see him again until next November.

Today Dad and I got the rest of the end posts done on the south side. One hole ended up out of line and may need to be redone. We also got a row of the smaller posts put in. There are probably about 60 remaining to do. The new auger works pretty well, though several times it has gotten stuck where it either took three people or lots of leverage to pull it out. Happenned with both the 6 and 8 inch bits. I am not sure if the two man auger is going to be manageable when we put on the extension to dig deeper holes for fence posts, though. Its really hard to move around and we might want to consider our options.

Gerald and I racked most of the reds last night. None of them seemed like they were in trouble, and a couple had some good flavor to them already. I've seen the temperature in there get down as low as 48, but usually its in the 50s.

I don't think anyone remembered to check the rain gauge this weekend, but I think we did get some rain last week at some point.

Dad and I may be able to get the remaining posts in to lot 11 tomorrow if the weather is reasonable. He is planning on staying until Tuesday afternoon.

-- Peter

Monday, November 19, 2007


Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

For Your Ear Buds

Grape Radio
—if there is one reason why an ipod shuffle is on my list, this website is it! i've listened to a few of the casts and they are of a good length, detailed, and satisfying. they also will post vodcasts as well— always a treat. i stumbled on this while searching vineyards @ utube—yes, i was taking a break from my paper!—and i recommend this sincere site to everyone interested in what goes into the bottle.

a bene placito!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Reason Why Port is Served at the End

Connie's Post:

It is evening. we are at the townie and gerald is making ham quesadillas to go with the vegetable soup reheat. we both have a glass of port, as this time of year, port is very nice. i'm relating stories from work, so gerald finishes his glass early and opens a bottle of sangiovese for our meal—a totally respectable bottle of il canneto 2004 sangiovese di toscana. he hands me his glass for a sip. mind you, i'm still sipping my rich, lovely tawny port. i sniff and sip the sangiovese.

"after the port, this smells like ketchup and tastes like nothing." i grouse, handing the glass back.

"you must immediately post that comment on the blog," answers my husband. "i suppose that's why port is always served last."

and so i do, as i know its been a month and a half since i last posted.

to our faithful readers of the blog: do not lose heart, keep checking in. i plan to do several way back posts to chronicle the harvest and the status of this year's vintage. plus, its november/december, post hole digging time—don't want to miss that! pete flew all the way from the west coast to participate, so that gives you a sense of importance post hole digging has on the shoestring vineyard. same photos as last year, different acre and i believe at least one man is wearing different clothes.

i apologize for the infrequent postings. my fiscal management class has eaten up more time that i thought it would! this weekend, it will be different! it will be different.