Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 2010

Surprise! As the days were warming up and we could actually believe it would be warm enough to plant the baby vines, Sean called and said he would like to come for a visit over his spring break. He was with us March 13-20 and we enjoyed every moment of his visit. Not only was it nice to have his company, it was VERY nice to have an extra pair of hands. Stanley and I had pre-dug all the holes for the plants according to the needs of the vines we had planted three years ago. However, these new plants were so much larger with so much more root than the previous ones, every hole had to be enlarged and deepened. So much for trying to plan ahead.

At any rate, this is the new vineyard before the fence went up. As you can see, Stanley is a tired vineyard man at this point. The new vineyard consists of 75 Zinfandel, 25 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25 Petit Sirah. They are all grafted on 1103P root stock - the same root stock that the Sangiovese is on. It is by far, our best producer and we believe at least part of that is due to the root stock. More about all this at Of course, the title of the wine blog really isn't true, and I assume everyone knows that Stanley is not only the grape grower and the wine maker; he is also in charge of bottling, research and development, chemical analysis, and quality control. Basically, I help out, take a few pictures, and give him liberal feedback as I am his chief consumer. It's a terrible job, but someone has to drink all this wine.

The juice cartons you see in the picture are put around the baby vines to protect them against rabbit predation and the ravages of the sun and wind, giving them a chance to acclimate to the desert environment.

When we took Sean back to San Antonio to fly back to Flagstaff, my mom and I went to an 89th birthday celebration for a very special lady - Rosalie, my mom's maid of honor all those many years ago. She is one of my inspirations. She visited me when I lived in Guadalajara. At the time, she was 77. Some of the activities she enjoyed the most were para sailing, horseback riding, and daily walks. Since then she has had several bouts with cancer, but she still makes cookies and candy for the nurses and doctors she sees at her chemo/radiation sessions. What a gal. To the delight of everyone within hearing distance, she told stories of growing up in Mexico with an ambitious, driven father and a lonely, homesick mother. I hope someone in her family writes those stories down. They are precious!

Jesse came up from Corpus Christi with a friend from flight school and they took Sean to Austin on Saturday. Poor guy had an early flight on Sunday, and the last place he wanted to be was on an airplane. All was well. He arrived in Flagstaff on schedule. We stayed in San Antonio for a few more days visiting family and then it was back to Parras to build a fence around the vineyard and enclose a new vegetable garden.