Isn’t he cute?

That is not our newest pet. That’s a coyote that somehow got into our deer fenced property. Gerry encountered him early morning while walking to the back of the vineyard. After the coyote playfully posed for about 15 pics, Gerry resumed his vineyard work … until he heard a ferocious growl.

He immediately exited the vineyard and sheltered in the house the remainder of the day. Barb the “all animal” lover thought that was an overreaction. Gerry is grateful to the coyote for a day off.

The first look at the 2020 crop on May 18. The berries are smaller than BBs but the clusters are long and plentiful.

The vineyard was suckered May 28-29, one week ahead of last year. It’s a tedious process consisting of removing all the unproductive shoots each vine produces after pruning. Note the difference in the same vine before and after suckering. The vineyard crew members practice social distancing by working at least 6’ apart.

Immediately after the vineyard was suckered, Barb began raising the lower training wire and attaching it to each stake to get the shoots growing straight and tall. Don’t judge. Remember that hair salons weren’t open in late May.

Bloom, the pollination phase, started May 30. Grapevines are self-pollinating. Those tiny white hairs are supposed to float gently in the breeze and miraculously pollinate as many grapes as possible on each cluster. To float gently, we want calm air. Throughout June we had strong winds most days, but it appears we have a good fruit set.

While Barb was raising the training wires, Gerry was removing the 700’ of frost tarps he hung on the fence in April. Bet you can’t tell this is his first selfie.

Fruit set is complete June 15, a little earlier than normal. The tiny berries you see will grow to the size of large blueberries. Fruit set is successful if there’s minimal space between the berries when they’re fully developed. We’ll see.

On June 16, Barb raised the upper training wire on each side of our 50 rows. Hair salons reopened. Yay!

The vineyard gets a haircut. Don’t try this at home.Only a professional like Francisco should operate a gas powered pole, with a chain saw blade attached to it, 5’ above his head. The canopy of shade must be removed to allow heat and sun to shine on the fruit.

But a quick and bad haircut isn’t good enough. The skilled stylists, like Ramiro, come in after the chain saw massacre and finish the job with a neat cut at a uniform height.

Ahhhh… All rows now look like this. The cover crop is mowed to the ground to eliminate the risk of a grass fire and all shoots are neatly cut and tucked between both training wires allowing for plenty of air circulation, heat, and sun.

This is a typical vine on June 30. So far so good but we have about 4 months to go.

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