Life in the Vineyard During the Time of Covid

From John, April 6th, 2020

April in Clos Electrique Vineyard

Walking out in the vineyard these days reminds me that life carries on in spite of what is going on for the “two leggeds”.

Buds are starting to show their leaves, bees are busy collecting pollen from the cover crop beneath the vines, sheep have been excluded from the vineyard given their propensity to eat said buds, the swallows have returned from Central America and are filling the bird boxes in the vineyard with nesting material, gophers and moles are starting to ramp up their activities.

The human intervention is a bit quiet this year. In order to keep our crew safe we have mandated that they work separate days in the vineyard. This of course means that less gets accomplished in a week but I am amazed at how much is getting done: the vine rows underneath the vines throughout the vineyard have been cleared with weed eaters, the prunings from winter have been chipped up and are being spread as mulch over the area recently cleared under the vines. A spray of lime sulfur was hand-applied to the buds to help prevent the onset of mildew, the trellis has been repaired throughout the vineyard and young vines have been hand-hoed to clear weeds from choking them out. And the old folks, Teri and John Paul, are working harder than ever to assist in all of these activities, taking Advil at night to ease sore backs and doing yoga in the morning to get them going on another day!

In the cellar, Tom carries on getting barrels ready for racking to create the blend of 2018 Dundee Hills Pinot noir. Julian quarantined himself for 3 weeks and has shown up to help put the new wine in the bottle. Matthew, donning a mask and gloves,  is keeping the enterprise going by delivering wine to the retail shops and grocery stores who deserve a huge amount of credit for making this essential libation available.  Because there is one thing that can be said for life in the time of Corona: people need a good glass of wine now more than ever!

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