Journal | April 2, 2019

Hardscrabble Journal


Can't wait to taste the wine.

Can't wait to taste the wine.

Cabernet loves rocky soils.

Cabernet loves rocky soils.

Planting

Planting a new vineyard block gives great satisfaction and optimism. It will be years before there is something tangible produced, but the process itself is rewarding. Yesterday we started planting a rocky knob at the top of Hardscrabble that has promise to produce great Cabernet Sauvignon. Thirty years of experimentation and observation on this land led to this week’s planting.

Two years ago the land was prepared. Manure and lime were spread, the rows were marked with flags and then ripped deep with a long shank to break up the rocks. Budwood was collected from our better Cabernet blocks and sent to a nursery in New York to be grafted. Last fall, after harvest, the posts were set and trellis wires installed.

Those grafted vines arrived back home last week. The soil has dried out sufficiently. This is the perfect week to plant. Using a 300-foot tape measure, I mark a dot every three feet below the newly installed trellising with an orange spray can. That dot becomes a hole big enough and deep enough for planting. We dig and plant by hand. Working as a team, Linden’s staff of four can mark, dig and plant about 400 vines in a morning. It is too back breaking to continue the planting after lunch. And we have plenty of other things to do in the vineyard. If all goes well the 1,500 vines will all be tucked in by the end of the week. Then it can rain.