Growing Season Begins!
One of the first signs of spring at Maggie Malick Wine Caves vineyard is bud break.
That's when green leaf shoots emerge on the vine.
This spring, bud break was a little late - just a few days behind the typical mid-April date. (Last year, it was two weeks early!)
Over the winter, Mark rented a 55,000-pound excavator and spent weeks clearing land at the foot of Short Hill Mountain, a location for possible future vine plantings.
The land clearing also promotes air drainage in the existing vineyard. Cold air drainage in the spring and fall helps prevent damaging frost from forming on the vines.
Air flow also is important for the grape vines during the growing season because it is critical in drying foliage and preventing fungal spores from settling on leaves, fruit and vines.
Nothing goes to waste
Mark excavated 15 tractor trailer loads of logs that became lumber you may have purchased at the local hardware store.
Smaller branches are used at the vineyard property to fuel the fire pits at the Wine Cave during the cooler times of the year.
The newly cleared area will be seeded with grass. The same area of the vineyards was farmed more than 100 years ago.
But Mark unearthed a lot of rocks in the newly cleared area.
"I think whatever vines we might plant up there," Mark joked, "are going to have a lot of minerality!"