There is no rest for the strong here! Once we completed pruning the vines, we moved straight onto digging up dead vines and planting new ones. Some of the young vines planted last year didn’t quite make it, so we marked them earlier in the fall when they were still green. That way we knew which ones to dig up. We can hear and feel the faint glimmer of spring arriving in the distance.
While the first couple weeks here have been bitterly cold, every couple of days, the warm sun thaws out the morning frost, and it feels nice to have the sun on my skin again. While we were digging holes, we had a particularly warm day and the strenuous work got me down to just my tank top! Digging holes in San Michele is especially difficult because the soil is mostly made up of a clay-like substance, making it very sticky and a lot harder than it needs to be! Being able to warm up enough to get down to a tank top was a brief and happy moment, because as soon as I stopped digging holes, I had to put my sweaters back on.
The rooster isn’t quite up to his usual spring and summer daily crows, but once in a while you hear him pipe up. The vineyard is almost deathly quite in the winter (not eve the wind rustles the trees), but lately we can hear the rustling of bushes as neighboring dogs come exploring through the rows, giving us some reprieve from the repetitive work. It’s beautiful, and I’m starting to finally feel like this is Italy again. Breathing in the amazing air, feeling the warm sun on my face, and working with my hands and nature.
Once we finished removing all of the old vines, we took some new baby vines and planted them. This was a first for me since I arrived right after they finished this work last year, so I was really excited. I feel like I’ve finally come full circle with a year on the vineyard. Lisa and I are hoping to plant a new olive tree somewhere on the land that we can call our own. That way we will always be apart of the land we have worked so hard on and come to love.
Viva la vino!