Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Leaves unfurled

Now we know. Our new grape vines survived the winter.

We've had the most unusual weather. More than a week of warm sunshine and absolutely no rain. We have not watered in the vineyard or orchard, only the vegetables, flower garden, and greenhouse.

We launched our boat on the high spring tide in Killybegs on Saturday the 7th of May and delivered her from Donegal to Mayo arriving home Tuesday the 10th. We had no rain and little wind en route and it has not rained since. That's a long time without rain and wind in Ireland. How will the vines react to dry stress?  How will they react to a mild winter and frost only for a few weeks in April. Whatever wind we've had has been easterly and northerly again this whole week.

April has once again broken all the records for global temperature and by the largest margin.  2016 is already shaping up as the warmest year on record. But they say that el Nino is making a rapid shift toward la Nina, whatever that will do.

Funny, as I write the heavens have opened up and are dumping all the rain that's been stored up in the sky. Today the wind has gone to the south but returns to northerly tomorrow. We are in the middle of a slowly spinning air mass. I wouldn't want to be a farmer trying to figure it the f--- out.

Whatever the state of the climate, our vines have survived their first test. The white grape vines are more robust than the red grape vines. Now we wait for them to grow as we train them on their wire frames. Then we'll wait for them to bloom, and we'll have to pollinate them by hand as there are still no bees.

We cut the grass but haven't weeded because we learned that grape vines love the competition. Another 'we'll see'.

I bought a lovely bottle of Chablis this week which Alex and I drank in one sitting it was so good. But I read at the store that what makes Chablis so crisp is the clay soil it likes to grow in.  Hey we've got clay. So there's my next thing to learn. Better get to work. Ciao!