Tongue River Winery         

                       Quality Made Wines with fruit exclusively from the Northern Plains!  

Blog

Oh, my aching back (legs, arms, shoulders, etc.!)

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Bird Netting. Arrgh!!   Sooooo, on October 2 we picked the last 200 lbs of grapes, and learned that within two days we might very well have snow, and our overhead netting was still up.  We didn't get it down one year, and it was absolutely shredded by heavy wet snow. 

So there were "no excuses."  We climbed ladders all Tuesday afternoon removing C-clips that hold our 50-foot wide sections together.  We unclipped our side-curtain nets and pulled them back.  And before supper we managed to pull back 2 out of 6 sections to the north edge of the vineyard.

Tuesday night it started drizzling, and we spent all Wednesday unclipping and sliding back the other four sections of overhead net in rain with occasional flurries of very large, wet snowflakes.  By morning we were  finished, and spent the whole afternoon with 6 100-foot rolls of 3/16" rope wrapping the net into a tight tube around its support wires, all along the north edge of the vineyard.  And we stuffed the side curtains into 30-gallon wastebaskets with drainholes, then lashed the net tightly to one of the posts.  At the end of the day, the netting was safe and lashed down for the year.

And wouldn't you know it, the next two days have been rain and snow free.  Not warm, but at least not wet!  I think I changed clothes 4 times on Wednesday and was really glad for a hot cup of coffee throughout the day.

Growing grapes in the northern latitudes is not for the timid.  But the sense of accomplishment in doing the near impossible makes it all worth while.

Categories: IN THE VINEYARD