The Winemaker’s Journal: In The Beginning (Wine Grape Grower’s Archives)

iron gate vineyard

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like when we started on this journey of becoming one of the first vineyards along the Haw River Wine Trail, here’s “uncensored” account of those very first days. Flip through the archived pages of the journal that I kept, in the beginning…

“A Winegrape Grower’s Journal: First Planting”

Debbie Harrell

SUNDAY – APRIL 8, 2001

We are ready to plant! Our vineyard site has been laid out by transit, the end posts are in, vine and line posts spacing are flagged, subsoiling is done and the Roundup has been applied. We are ready to dig holes and set vines. There was substantial rainfall the week before but the soil looks to be in good order so we decided to auger a few holes this Sunday afternoon. Our vines are due to be shipped on Monday and we are anxious to get started. Gene has brought the bobcat with the auger over to the site and we augered about six holes before we stopped. It was not good. Where we had subsoiled on each side of the row our bobcat wheels were going out of sight. The ground was extremely wet underneath. As we augered each hole there was this awful Carolina pipe clay coming out of the holes. It was within the first twelve to eighteen inches-bad news! If you put your hand down into the soil it made a sucking noise. All the water from the previous rain was trapped in this clay. We knew we had a problem.

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