January, 2008. a happy new year to all checking in and all those who keep faithful tabs on the vineyard blog. gerald has been faithfully posting as he can in between work, the vineyard, the boys and the townie. i have to say, fiscal management and freelance absconded with any precious minutes i might have had to record the latest updates of the vineyard. it had been a rough ride. now, with an A in fiscal management and closing down my freelance business, i'm resolving to blog continuous all throughout 2008—this means harvest, crush and fermentation.
this year, i was able to gift gerald a recoopered french oak 10 gallon wine barrel from beer-wine.com. it was hard to tell who was more excited, gerald or me. it was extremely difficult to keep the barrel a secret. i had it delivered to the townie and luckily the boys&i arrived home earlier than gerald. it was comedy and chaos as we pulled up to the townie. my parents had just come up for a visit, boy1&2 were talking on my cell phone to their dad on his way home and i tore up the stairs, trying to lug the box up the three flights of stairs to the loft closet before gerald made it home. we lost my cell phone in the process and haven't been able to find it since. gerald is excited—he has been making wine without oak, as he wanted to get a baseline of what the grapes themselves had to express without it. He's thinking that this upcoming year is the year to try the additional layer of complexity that oak barrels add to the wine process. This upcoming year will be a big year, as we expect we will have enough proofing grapes to contribute to the Port of Leonardtown Winery, as we are members of the Southern Maryland Winegrowers Cooperative. stay tuned, our little vineyard is growing gang-busters!
gerald was able to get to the farm over the holidays with the girl, who hadn't been up since we practiced moving the big rusty tank into the vineyard. they built a spray boom, which i haven't seen yet, but on the tow behind the sprayer there will be a boom with two sprayer nozzles on each side. gerald will be finishing that up soon, in time for spring. on the shoestring vineyard, the largest portion of winter is preparation for the upcoming season.
this weekend, the whole family was here, but it ended up a bit raw for momma and boy 2. gerald has been reviewing the farm log from 2007. last year at this time, we had a heat wave of 72°F on January 6th. fortunately, it is not that warm this year—today's high is 43° F. but as i mentioned, there was a bite to the wind that made boy2 and momma long for the farm house, fire, and wireless internet. while boy2 and i stoked the fired, watched power ranger episodes on utube and researched kaizen events, boy1 and his dad made progress on the second bay, getting the wallboards up. they worked well with each other.
we will spend the night, tonight, and head back to attend the open house gerald's dad holds at the beginning of the year.