planting

Adding Drain Tile to Our Home Farm

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In the coming weeks, our home farm will welcome another addition of Riesling and Pinot Noir vines. This past weekend, Rick and James spent their time installing drain tiles throughout the vineyard where the next phase of planting will occur.  By "tiling" or adding drain tiles, any excess subsurface water from the rising of the water table will be redirected through the pipe/drain system and moved away from the vineyard.  It's a necessary undertaking in a region such as the Finger Lakes, which experiences somewhat significant rainfall in various years. 

During the dig, we unearthed quite a bit of shale and blue clay - a combination that will make Pinot Noir especially happy.  

-KR

Checking in on Our Friends in Gigondas

clairette vines saint cosme

In the spring, we had the chance to plant Clairette vines in Gigondas at Château de Saint Cosme. We received a photo just the other day showing us how they are coming along.

Vines grow much slower at Saint Cosme! The Forge Cellars vines, planted (on Seneca Lake) in June are already nearly 36 inches tall. Amazing, the difference in vigor.

Below is the recap on planting in Gigondas that we sent out via email back in June.


Our Recent Trip to France
June 16, 2016

Each year the Forge Cellars team heads to Gigondas for at least a week for tasting, education and discussions with Louis and the Château de Saint Cosme team.  This year was magical as we hand planted a small vineyard at the estate of selection massale Clairette as a small experiment on the edge of the Hominis Fidis vineyard.

Small parcels must be hand planted.  This process uses your body weight to drive the spike into the ground. Elbow grease is required and then with a deft hand, you slip the vine into the hole as you remove the spike.  Training is required!

This technique requires the skill of a surgeon.  Though Laurent (red shirt) doesn’t speak much English, his guidance in French was enough to allow Phil Davis (vineyard liaison) to try his hand at this ancient technique.

Reclaiming vs. Starting Anew

Recently, much has been said about the Resnick's decision to bulldoze a forest of old oak trees in Paso Robles, California.

(Click here to Read the story by the los angeles times)

This year, we planted our first vineyard here in the Finger Lakes.  When we were looking for land, Louis always would say we want “nude” land, meaning land that had already been cleared and was sitting dormant.  We found something close to that, which was a vineyard that had not been farmed since 1983.  Was it difficult to clear the old wires, posts and vines out?  Yes!  Wires left behind are a mechanical nightmare to deal with, and they love to tangle up in sprockets and break machinery - things were no different for us.  Would we do it differently?  Absolutely not.  I am really happy to be breathing life back into what was once a productive parcel of land, and having some local long-term economic impact as well.  It is the same great feeling one gets when renovating an old house, very rarely cheap, but certainly satisfying.

 
Rick and Alexandra are followed by Ajax, our trusty four-legged companion. The team is watching each vine enter the ground, making sure that they are each securely planted in the soil.

Rick and Alexandra are followed by Ajax, our trusty four-legged companion. The team is watching each vine enter the ground, making sure that they are each securely planted in the soil.