A year in the vineyard…

At Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards

At the winery, Lynn and Susan pointed out to the vineyard…

they’re out there somewhere…

From afar, waves of bare vines looked lifeless…

Not a human in sight.

Along a gravel road,

vines ran parallel.

Pruned.

Further down the road,

blocked by a couple rows of vines,

a truck was barely visible.

Turning the corner, the truck appeared empty…

passing by the truck, I peeked down each row of vines, searching for a clue…

the aisles were clear, the vines pruned.

The place was silent.

Row after row,

nothing.

Until, I noticed…

at the far far end of a pruned row,

a few bunches of shoots laying across the aisle…

I must be getting close.

The next three rows were pruned… and the shoots hanging from the wires…

Closer…

The next…

was unpruned. Untouched.

No people.

I stopped,

and surveyed the area…

searching for another sign of life…

Sure enough, from a small building, a man and dog (with ball) were heading my way.

Mike, a partial owner of the vineyard, greeted me.

He has been working these vines since they were born (7 yrs ago)…

I came to ask questions, and Mike was pleased to answer.

As my questions flowed, Mike (and two others) pruned the vines…

From vine to vine,

Mike thoroughly answered my questions,

and though my questions slowed,

Mike kept going…

From vine to vine,

He talked…

…about disease

…about the soil

…about time and labor saving methods…

Halfway through sentences he sometimes went silent,

surveying the vine… deciding what to keep… snipping off the rest…

and continuing the sentences as if he never stopped.

On and on he went, snipping, and talking…

…about budbreak…

…hedging…

…leaf-pulling…

slowly and deliberately,

moving from vine to vine,

the story of a year in the vineyard unfurled… like clockwork.

veraison…(the point at which berries change color)

…harvest…

time passed so fast…

upon reaching the end of a row,

Mike called it a day…

the guys got in the truck,

while Mike and I walked back…

passing by their most recent plantings…

and stopping,

believe it or not,

at the same spot where this picture was taken…

Header

The header!

We reached the end of the row…

my car was one way,

the winery was the other,

and so we departed.

Settling into my car,

I let out a joyous holler…

I must be doing what I love.

Of Note!

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This story is just getting started!

About ANewVine

Developing the art of making fine Maryland wine. View all posts by ANewVine

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