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Tractor Blight

June 6, 2010
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Keeping the weeds at bay underneath the vine requires some attentive tractor work. This year this is especially difficult because of the sheer volume of work required. It takes about a week to cover the entire vineyard on tractor and each time it rains more weeds germinate.

The tool we use to “reach” under the vine has metal teeth that scratch the surface of the ground and it does a pretty good job of removing the weeds. It has an sensing arm that when activated moves the machine away from the vine.

To make a long story short; I was tired and I totally misfired the hydraulics. Instead of lowering the machine I raised it into the head of the vine and I killed one of my favorite 135 year old Grenache vines. It all happened in a split second and I was devastated.

If you have been here you have seen this vine. I show it to everybody. It was one of the biggest vines and it stood like a gargoyle marking the entrance to the vineyard.

After I came to grips with what I had done I spent the rest of the day furiously shoveling weeds by hand and gently placing compost under really old vines that seemed to be in decline. I was paying my penance. It started to gently rain and it kind of turned out to be a magical day. Now I have turned my focus to the 8647 thriving ancient vines that need attention.

Before



After

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jess permalink
    June 7, 2010 8:04 pm

    That IS devastating.

    Can’t you put it in a glass of water and let it sprout some new roots…?

  2. June 14, 2010 5:48 pm

    Oh, so sad. It was a sentinel, making me careful as I turned the corner and faced east, usually in the early morning, looking straight into the sun. Those soils will miss it too and support whatever it planted in its stead.

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