• Tim Kuepfer

Tying Up

I’m thinking thoughts in the quietude of the vineyard.

Today, we’re working on tying up vines.  At this point they’ve been dehilled.  In the warmth of the spring sunshine they are starting to push out tiny pussy-willow like buds.

I contemplate the vines..Inside each primordial bud is a microscopic miracle of an entire shoot.  Already formed are structures for flowers, tendrils, and leaves.  Even last year, the warmth and radiation from the sun falling on this little bud affected its formation. The vine was planning a survival and reproduction strategy:   “hmmm, do I need more leaves because I’m not getting enough sun, or can I grow more fruit and reproduce more of me?”

The task at hand involves spending three hours with each row of grapes, kneeling in the rocks, and tying four canes up into the trellis. We do this five thousand times, once for each vine, and after three weeks, on to the next vineyard task. The daunting amount of work seems impossible, but somehow, we always get it done.

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