Yes, the moment has come. The vines are out. Well half out. It’s a huge job and it has taken Manu and Nicolas two days to achieve the right effect.
Manu was the first down to dig out the heavy chestnut stakes and pull out the wires. Were I really fussy I would have been following on behind to pick up the bits of plastic twine that was used to tie up the vines. And retrieve the little bits of wire that he managed to spray about.
Manu is a messy worker. But he worked very hard at a job I would never have attempted.
Besides, I was busy wall building up at the herb garden and the oak bank.
We decided to keep the posts around the perimeter of the vineyard so we can fix up anti-deer fencing solutions in future.
The little vines look a bit forlorn here. (Manu was too shy to stay in the shot.)
But it was nothing compared to the massive afternoon wrenching. This time it was Nicolas wielding the pickaxe and hoe.
He decided that the brambles and prunellier (blackthorn) could come out at the same time, so he was only half way through by the end of the day. It is a bit of a jungle. Despite my huge efforts to cut and strim all season.
We are even thinking of solutions for the next project. First, leave it for a year. But Nicolas thinks it would be a good idea to bring down a rotovator (motoculture) and churn up the entire area; and at the same time adding lime in granulated form to try and beef up the soil and keep out the bracken.
He thinks the soil is ph5 down there. Way too acidic for anything good.
And the bracken is like a sea trying to engulf the entire region.
Just look over the lip of the vineyard to the next terrace below. Ugh.
One day this winter I’m going to have to get down in there and cut it back. I have a few tonnes of wooden chestnut stakes that can’t lie in a messy pile on the edge of this terrace. And it’s going to be much easier to lob them down to the road and load up the car and move them somewhere else.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Tomorrow – the finished product; staff willing. They will be arriving at 8am to start.