|Steve teaching sommeliers about pruning|
The frustrating thing is that it is impossible for me to prune the vineyards myself--there are just too many vines. All vineyard owners are forced to hire help to get all of the vines pruned--Columella wrote a treatise on agriculture in 50 AD Rome, and described in detail how many hired hands are necessary for each parcel of vines. So given this reality, my role as a viticulturist is really as a teacher: our pruning is only as good as I can describe and show to the people helping us.
Between our own vineyards and the many vineyards of my consulting clients I find myself discussing and demonstrating pruning almost every day. It's fun, but the high point is taking a day off on the weekend and pruning myself! Even though I live and breath it, I feel like a weekend warrior when I'm actually doing it--five minutes of showing someone doesn't cramp your hand the way a whole day does. It feels good though.
|Steve showing the boys how to prune the persimmon tree|