It has been a busy start to the year at Rathfinny. The steel has just arrived which will form the frame of the winery and it is being erected as I write this, I’ll post some pictures later in the week.
Also, Cameron and I have been off to Lyon (France) to visit one of the nurserys we are using to grow the vines we will be planting in March this year. We ordered these vines in 2011 so we wanted to take a look before we place a further order for vines needed in 2014!
It’s a long process making vines:
Firstly, suitable rootstock cane (in our case Fercal which is good for our chalky soil and used extensively in Champagne) is collected from plots in the nursery.
This is then sorted and graded..
The canes are then cut into the correct length ready for grafting – We have chosen to plant 90cm ‘high-grafted’ vines, which means the graft union is closer to the fruiting wire (the bottom wire of the trellis set at 110cm that will hold the grapes), this will save the vines from rabbit damage as the buds are off the ground and will mean we will hopefully gain a year before we get fruit.
The selected grape variety, in our case mainly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is then grafted on the top of these rootstock canes and the vines are planted out in the nursery for a year.
They are then dug up, trimmed, cleaned, packed and stored over the winter months in a cool room before they are dispatched to us for planting at the end of March this year. Notice that some of the vines in this patch of the nursery are low-graft and others high.
We have chosen the high-grafted vines but the above pictures show some smaller vines which have been cleaned ready to be sent to Canada. The tops are covered in wax to save the graft union from drying out. They look good don’t they?
So we are now finalising our order for a further 80,000 vines for planting in 2014.
Happy New Year to you all…