Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thank you, all, for your Rootstock 2009 support!

wow! its really been difficult to put into writing how we've felt about our friends and family giving so much of their time, support, and good spirits in making sure rootstock09 was a success. ger and i've been talking about it all week—breaking out in grins and spontaneous hugs as we relive april 4th. there was a ton of prep work that the family supported these past few weeks and we'd like to express a special thanks to uncle pete, dad and uncle charlie for their support and hard work throughout the week that allows ger and his brother pete to concentrate on the vineyard and keep moving forward.

as for our friends—thanks to all of your efforts, over 2,400 vines went into 2 acres in
one beautiful day. thank you, thank you!

the weather was gorgeous but windy. 'round 6am we had 5 auger crews out digging holes—3 on trackers and 2 hand augers in order to prepare for the planting crews. thanks to our tractor crews: uncle charlie conrad, tom spooner, roger lavoie, and WCpete—our tractor drivers and our auger guiders: sam, kayleigh, and raven. special thanks to our hand auger crews: randy and mike on the two man and john fox on the single auger. hand augering requires quite a bit of upper body strength!

lot12 was soon dotted with holes ready for the planting crews. ger and pat isles [volunteer educator, maryland grape growers association/head of the facilities committee, southern maryland wine growers cooperative/vineyard manager at summerseat and all around great guy!] prepped the roots and gave the volunteers instructions as to how to plant the vines properly.

had been running back and forth all morning—coordinating the food prep and delivery with lyrel, coordinating shirts, nametags and welcoming attendees with kathleen—so when i ran up and over the hill the planting was well underway. and what a sight it was! all our good friends from college, work and the wine growing community were scrambling about the field, united in fellowship and vines. it was too much to take in, so i plunged into the planting melee and started snapping pics of everyone and thanking, thanking them. we estimate around 50 people were able to participate in the days event. it was awesome to be able to share with our friends what occupies a good portion of our lives and dreams.

special thanks goes out to bruce perrygo (maryland grape growers assoc. coordinator) and caroline baldwin (vp for maryland grape growers/southern maryland winegrowers coop) for their expertise and row management. towards the end of the petit verdot, several friends, bruce and caroline noticed we were in danger of having a few partial rows of the two different petit verdot rootstocks and the potential mixing of the barbera. i remember bruce standing in the field like a sentinel, coordinating with our planters and maintaining field order like a true general. we'd also like to thank rich fuller and his wife grace, for volunteering their time and energy to the task.

after we had a lunch, rich fuller, president of the southern maryland wine growers association gave an update to the crowd about the port of leonardtown winery and offered an investment opportunity in the winery. if you are interested in investing in the winery, please contact rich @

after lunch, we headed back into the field to finish planting the barbera. this is where i want to thank everyone again—i know its hard to work after lunch! but the bet part was the little ones, now that the tractors and heavy machinery had left the fields, were able to participate. ger and i settled into planting with our friends and later remarked how cool it was to hear the different conversations people were having as they planted. fathers and grandfathers talked with their children and grandchildren. co-workers learned a little more about each other. complete strangers laughed and shared their lives and how they were connected to this crazy enterprise. what an awesome day!

read all about our exploits in the post!



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