Saturday, 8 May 2010

No time to vote - 12,600 more Vines Planted!

Oblivious to the election results, we were up at 5am yesterday morning to complete the planting of the vineyard. Thanks to Volker Scheu and his satellite guided planting machine, we managed to finish the planting of another 12,600 vines on about 7.5 acres in little more than 24 hours.

The new vines are mainly the traditional champagne varieties including:

   Varietal                     Rootstock     No.
   Pinot Meunier 865      41B             1,250
   Pinot Meunier 925      41B             1,250
   Pinot Noir 115            Fercal         1,100
   Pinot Noir 459            Fercal         1,100
   Pinot Noir 870            Fercal         1,100
   Pinot Noir 872            41B            1,100
   Chardonnay 95           Fercal         1,450
   Chardonnay 124         41B            1,450
   Chardonnay 277         41B            1,450
   Syval Blanc                SO4           1,175

We've also planted 175 Pinot Gris as a bit of an experiment.

Before planting, the roots of the vines were soaked in compost tea and then dipped in a solution of mycorrhizal fungi which breaks down organic matter releasing nutrients (particularly phosphates) and can also significantly increases root capacity.

The planting nearly didn't happen as Volker's machine got a puncture on the way to the vineyard. However, thanks to Philip and Gary, we were able to replace the wheel with one from Gary's tractor which allowed us to complete the planting while a new tyre was being sourced and fitted.
Thanks to all the team (including Volker and his planters, Alex, Stephen, JB, Philip and Gary) for a huge amount of effort and an excellent result.

Volker and the team with Philip (left) and Stephen and Alex (right)
In total we now have some 21,000 vines planted on nearly 13 acres. During the next couple of weeks we will be spreading 90 tonnes of organic compost on the vines, together with a huge amounts of woodchip mulch which will hopefully keep the weeds at bay!

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