A warm April and early May brought early growth. A bit too early.
The Frontenac vines really wanted to get growing.
Drip irrigation system.: We put in a new drip irrigation sytem in all of the first year vineyard rows. This should save us a lot of watering work this summer.
Josh & Nikki at work. She wasn't really going to run over him, the tractor wasn't running.
Vineyard workers: Bob, Susie & Randy. These friends came to visit for the weekend, and we put them to work. And we wonder why we get so few visitors...
New machinery: Randy and Bob run the new and improved post hole digger. Having it on the tractor saved a lot of work in moving it from place to place.
A finished row, posts, plants, grow tubes, and stakes.
New growth on last year's vines.
Jeff and Sarah putting out stakes.
The last remaining crew members on the last day of planting work. Tired, but happy.
Frontenac on July 5, 2006
Bob, fighting the bugs with the small sprayer.
New part of the vineyard, planted spring 2006.
Our new arrival, the big sprayer.
The big sprayer at work on the Frontenac vines.
It may be hard to tell, but the new sprayer DOES make the vintner happy.
We were very happy with the first year's growth from Marechal Foch
The second year Frontenac vines continue with their vigorous growth.
Marechal Foch: We clipped off almost all of the grapes this year to get the vines to prosper, but a few made it past the pruning shears. It is gratifying to know that they can make grapes, and we hope to see lots of them next year.
Vigorous. It's a good thing we decided to go with the extra support of a Geneva Double Curtain trellising system.
Inside the Geneva Double Curtain.
This year we planted a new section of several varieties of white grapes.
More of the new whites.
End of the line: The far end of the white section was closest to the woods, and it took a major hit from the japanese beetles. The vines struggled valiantly, and we are hoping they will make it.
Pests: Here is the villain. This was a very big beetle year. In the height of the siege we were getting over a quart a day from each of three beetle traps, and they just kept coming.
More pests: After the beetles left we breathed a sigh of relief. Until we noticed the deer were starting to munch on the leaves.
Our vineyard: This is most of what we have planted now. Just under an acre, with the reds in the foreground and the whites towards the woods starting at the top of the hill.
Water. After last year's dry summer and having to hand water the plants, we installed a drip irrigation system. Since it's underground you can't see much of it except for this hydrant. Fortunately, the installation of water seems to have insured that we had much more natural rainfall this season.
Aileron. Aileron is our vineyard dog wanna-be. Her invisible fence collar doesn't allow her to visit the vineyard now, but she watches us from the yard, and dreams of expanding her range. Hopefully we can figure a way to get her out there with us without confusing her sense of boundaries.
Fall: This leaf on the tree in our front yard was the first one to turn. It seems like it's really throwing up a red flag, warning us that winter is quickly approaching.