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Butler Winery and Vineyards

Planting New Vines in the Old Vineyard

butler winery

Spring in the vineyard is the time for new growth and renewal. Over time individual vines succumb to the brutality of nature and become, as we say, “permanently dormant”.  Every few years or so, when the blank spaces in the rows begins to become noticeable, we replace those deceased vines. Thus we spent the first weekend in May planting replacement vines.  We had receive the new vine cuttings (285 in all) from the nursery two weeks prior to planting, but as some of you probably noticed, we had 10 inches of rain during the latter part of April and the first few days of May.  We were able to hold the vines in our cold room at 47 degrees to keep them from sprouting before we planted them. By design our vineyard sits atop a high ridge and the water drains away fairly rapidly so we were able to plant relatively soon after the rains stopped.

Many old vine stumps had to be dug out before we could plant the new starts.  By the time the planting was completed, knees, backs and hands were sore but the job was done. At one point mid-way through the planting process we mused about how much easier it would be to make beer. But then, we would only have beer.  

Butler Winery

Eric (background) and Andy (foreground) happily planting Chardonel vines at the end of the 3rd day. Only 25 vines to go!

As spring progresses into summer the young cuttings will come to life, pushing out leaves and growing toward the top wire. The first fruit from these new vines will come in three years and the new wine one year after that. Patience is a virtue.