The Vineyard Story

January 10, 2012 | 10 Comments

Back in October 2010 was when we planted our Sangiovese cuttings in a vine nursery. Just under a year later in September 2011 we had a fully trellised and planted vineyard. Well the first stage of a vineyard. It may be quite small but by god we don’t love it any less for it. It is fantastic to look out from our windows to the neat rows of vines, protected from the wind in their vine guards.

All up, from measuring out the vineyard to the finished thing took about six weekends (and evenings when we could sneak them in). Along the way we really appreciated the help we received from friends and family. Huge thanks go to:

  • Peter and Kristy – for great work on the end assemblies and plenty of hammering
  • Matt – for massive crowbar heroics and mattocking par excellence – in a sterling effort Matt completed two full weekend tours of duty
  • Dawn and Steve – our hardcore Saturday and Sunday planting team
  • Martyn and Chris – Saturday planting and suppliers of extra tools
  • Bec, DA and ZakĀ – the Saturday reinforcement team arriving just when our numbers needed boosting
  • Ross and Neale and Jackie – our appreciated Sunday additional planting team

Below is a pictorial story of the vineyard from whoa to go.

john inspects vine nursery

In October 2010 we established a vine nursery - John proudly surveys the vines' progress.


bud burst in the nursery

Still 2010 - here's a close-up of budburst in the nursery. And a nice close up of the "babies".


the first vineyard post goes in

Cut to August 2011 - John hammers in the marker for the very first vineyard post.


John and tape measure

Checking the row length


Amanda and post marker

No show without Punch - Amanda wields a hammer on the next post marker.


vineyard posts

No treated pine for this vineyard - these are softwood posts coated in recycled plastic. Termite resistant without the nasty chemicals. Arrived 20 August 2011.


ute loaded with posts

The trusty ute loaded with posts ready for placement on the vineyard site.


posts in place

All the posts laid out on the site ready to be hammered into the ground.


John and Mark with the post driver

John closely observes as Mark uses the post driver.


more post driver action

More post driver action


intermediate posts

Beautiful! All intermediate posts done by 21 August 2011.


Peter and John start the end assemblies

Now it is the first week of September 2011 and here John and Peter start putting the end assemblies together.


Matt and crowbar

Sterling effort by Matt doing the hard yards with a crowbar.


more end assembly work

And the end assembly work continues. Kristy is in the background taking a well earned rest from hammering in wire holding staples.


wiring up an end assembly

Matt and Amanda wiring up an end assembly.


finished end assemblies

There's a fine looking set of end assemblies - the western end of the rows complete.


tensioning wire

John adds the required amount of tension to the fruiting wire. Work that strainer!


vine roots

Here's what the vines look like dug up from the nursery just before planting.


Chris Steve Matt Martyn planting

First weekend of planting 10-11 September 2011 and here we have Chris, Steve, Matt and Martyn digging some of the 1000 holes.


more mattock work

Matt, Martyn and Steve soldier on with mattocking holes. Don't worry everybody got to have a go - 1000 holes is a lot of holes.


more Amanda and Dawn planting

Amanda and Dawn planting the first row - one minute up, next minute down - plenty of exercise on planting day for all concerned.


Amanda and Dawn planting

And now just a bit of delicate soil tamping with the boots.


Amanda Ross Jackie Neale planting

On Sunday the planting continued - here's Amanda, Ross, Jackie and Neale (walking with purpose with vine in hand) doing some of their best work.


Steve Amanda planting

Strike a (weird) pose - Steve and Amanda plant vines on Sunday.


mountain of vine guards

We received our vine guards in a flatpack and had to assemble them all - this mountain of guards was mostly due to Steve.


Dawn putting guards on vines

And once the guards were assembled it was time to put one on every vine - Dawn shows how it is done.


just planted bud burst

This is why the young vines need guards - this vine has only been in the ground for a day and it has already bud burst.


John watering

Once planted each vine needs a drink - John starts the watering.


Matt watering

Matt and John continued watering till well after sundown - nice work.


The following weekend on 18 September 2011 John and Amanda finished the last couple of rows and – voila! – we had a vineyard.


finished vineyard

Stage 1 vineyard - 1000 sangiovese - completed.


view of vineyard from northern deck

Here's a view of the vineyard from the northern deck of the house, with a fledgling fruit tree orchard in the foreground too - what a fine view.


10 Comments so far

  1. irena dangov on January 10, 2012 10:53 pm

    Fine work. Very proud of you guys. xxxx

  2. Andy on January 10, 2012 11:04 pm

    Sensational set of photos A&J.

  3. Grant Senior on January 11, 2012 8:44 am

    Looking Great!

  4. Pip on January 11, 2012 3:17 pm

    Looks incredible….is it too early to put an order in for the Sangiovese?

  5. fin on January 11, 2012 9:01 pm

    Hey everyone thanks for the comments. You all better be thinking of putting some dates in your calendar for a visit. Pip we’ll swap you some sangiovese for some raspberries and garlic.

  6. Hannah on January 11, 2012 11:33 pm

    Wow! looks fantastic! Sterling effort. The black posts are excellent. So are you two!! A vision achieved. Well done. Xx

  7. Mum & Dad on January 12, 2012 9:31 am

    Absolutely fantastic! Don’t know how you two find the time & the energy. looking forward to sitting on the northern deck with glasses of something delicious in our hands. Congratulations on your magnificent efforts. Love

  8. Cathy on February 16, 2012 12:57 pm

    Looking good…I assume the workers got a drink as well as the baby vines

  9. fin on February 19, 2012 7:09 pm

    Indeed they did. And a meal (or two). And the promise of a bottle or two from the first vintage.

  10. Dawn on February 19, 2012 8:51 pm

    Wow, forgot you were capturing the journey. So lovely to see Amanda. You guys rock xo

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