April vineyard update: wires, lambs & yellow Silvaner

It’s been a slow start in the vineyards. The slowest we’ve experienced since we came back to Kitzingen. The first buds were breaking towards the end of the month, about three weeks later than last year. Days are still chilly, nights are still cold and we keep lacking rain. Nonetheless cherry, plum and apple trees cover the scenery with their beautiful blossoms and it’s clear that a new season has started.

One of the bigger projects happened in our beloved Heimat Silvaner plot. At the bottom of the vineyard we had one of those early ripening crossings named “Perle” growing, and after playing with it for many years we decided to get rid of it. Never made anything exceptional, low acidity, little sugar and lots of rot. So in this vineyard that mostly consists of Grüner (green) Silvaner and a little Blauer (blue) Silvaner we went for a third color: yellow. A friend helped us organizing three different clones of Gelber Silvaner and it was a joy putting them in the ground.

Our sheerer Basti provided us with a whole big bag of sheep’s wool of which we added some to each plant to protect them from rabbits. May they grow well and contribute to the complexity of a multi-color Silvaner in a few years.

For the BD506 preparation Sophie and Max picked a sunny morning to forage and dry two baskets of dandelion blossoms, a lovely little spring job.

And for more spring feelings: lambs. Almost all of them arrived within a few weeks and as we spent a lot more with them as we did the last years they became more and more trusting. With the late bud break it will take a while until they can start “working” in the vineyards again.

The biggest job though was to finally build the trellising in our apple tree vineyard. A hectare means quite a bit of material. 1.000 polls, 82 anchors, 25.000m of wire and 4.300 sticks for the plants. As much as we enjoy doing everything by hand for this we needed a tractor to get the polls in the soil.

There is a fun tool too to drill the anchors in the ground with the hydraulic power of the tractor. Just one little area drove us crazy. There must have been a stony path or something back in the days, the drill anchors just didn’t go in. But the combination of a sledgehammer, Nick and special anchors did the job in the end.

After kilometers of wires were attached the vineyard now has its frame. And the now fully integrated piles of dead wood look less random but emanate commitment and look even more impressive than they did before.

With most of the groundwork set we’re ready for the season. Fingers crossed for the last potentially scary nights of frost!

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