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Only in Mendocino

I find that I am more interested in visiting vineyards now that I am going to plant a row of Petit Manseng in Maryland. Before I was interested in a vineyard’s architecture, vines and grape development for photography purposes. However while in Mendocino I started paying attention to trellis systems, pruning techniques, organic farming and biodynamics.

Usually when touring a vineyard we hope into a truck or SUV. Sometimes a smaller automobile will takes us through a vineyard. We have had vineyard tours in Tuscany and California (Suisun Valley, Lake County and Mendocino County). Of all the tours, only in Mendocino were we treated to a tour of the vineyard in a horse drawn carriage at McDowell Valley Vineyards and a tour of the vineyards in a Mercedes at BARRA of Mendocino Winery. We found the horse drawn carriage ride through the vineyard to be quite comfortable. It was also easy to take photographs and video. The ride through a vineyard in a Mercedes was also comfortable and I thought about my brother driving his Mercedes through a vineyard…

After visiting the wonderful grape growers in Mendocino County I have new plans for my row of Petit Manseng. First, I plan to hoe the row rather than using RoundUp. At the ends of the row, I’m thinking of placing wild flower gardens to attract insects. Perhaps I can plant my vines a bit closer together to give me a ten-foot strip at the row’s ends. I can also start making compost to spread under the vines next year. Much can be learned about farming and grape growing from those who have grown grapes for most of their lives. Now I’m interested in finding a female cow’s horn. I’m very curious about biodynamics.



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