Thursday, 16 February 2017

Back To Basics.

A most important job indeed.

This week the sun and warm(er) weather have felt they needed to come and say hello to us. Glorious and stunning, the way everything takes on a different slant once the sun infuses a black and grey landscape with colour. Apart from nature most villagers blossomed this week. More smiles, more chit chat and much more outside activities.

Wine being the main raison d'etre of our village and villagers, one of the many necessary steps to get the grapes to grow, was and is being done this week.

Pruning of the vines. Sounds very easy but is actually one of those seemingly simple tasks that carries tremendous importance. The way a vine gets pruned, helps determine the quality of the grapes and the quantity although often they are not mutually exclusive.

Bob and I went to help our parents with this task. Equipped with hat, gumboots, gloves, sunblock and pruning sheers we set off. The many weeks of icy weather have transformed the ground into a muddy pit and at the end of the afternoon, my boots were decorated with oodles of sticky mud and my walk was suspiciously like a moonwalk. Very toning for the muscles.

You know, when you stand in front of a vine and need to make a decision to cut away all the shoots and " branches " until you are left with one, possibly two good ones, can be a bit nerve wracking. Remember, the wrong snip and a year of nothing. Bob is good at it and doesn't dilly dally over each snip which means that he was a few meters ahead of us.

Pruning those vines is very therapeutic as all of the focus is on each vine and the task ahead. Standing in the muddy ground tops it all off by earthing one and any small irritations just seem to seep into the ground. At times I did imagine how the grapes would turn out to be or rather how delectable this particular vintage would be.

Bob among the vines...