It was a great year for us in 2009...and 2010 has also shown to be wonderful for vineyard interest! Fall is a great time to plant a vineyard...newly planted vines still have time to spread their roots before going dormant in December. They soon become accustomed to their new environment. In the Spring, they will burst out with new growth based upon previously established roots. Now is the time to plant to ensure a great start on growth, which can potentially permit a first small harvest next year. Don't wait!
Following are our 2010 vineyards that have been completed or are ready for installation:
The Gates Vineyard, Glendora
Installed in January
A clean slate...a large sloping hillside just in front of a beatiful home, overlooking a beautiful orange grove. This is the sweeping left side of the planting area, which changes from a slight slope on the right to a steep slope to the left. The steep slope and loose dirt provided a challenge!
The right side of the planting area with tall pine trees and a slight slope. The base of the pine trees were eventually pruned prior to the vineyard installation, leaving an approximate 7' clearance for some vine rows to run under them.
The MHV crew worked diligently to dig the postholes, put in the posts, 3-wire system, and irrigation lines, and the individual grapes stakes in preparation for planting the dormant vines.
And, voila! A wonderful sweeping vineyard! The majority of dormant plants are protected by high-tech Blu-X vines shelters, which not only protect the bases of the young vines from local varmints, but also create a micro-climate which enhance the plants' growth. The blue film filters the sun's light, thus permitting the best wavelength for promoting photosynthesis. Cool! The vines in the foreground, which don't have the shelters, are specially grown "Uber-vines"...2-3 year old new vines pre-grown to a three-feet height for excelerated trellising at the mid-wire.
The left side...
The Miller Vineyard - Alta Loma
Rehabilitation and Retrofit
Installed in February
This existing vineyard was planted by the homeowner some four years or so ago. The 12 Zinfandel vines are beautiful, but needed proper trellising and proper pruning. After removing the existing grapestakes and wire, a new treliss system was constructed with end and mid posts, standard vineyard wire, irrigation dripline, and anchors to prevent the end posts from bowing in under the weight of the vines later in the year.
This is the right side of the vineyard located in front of the customer's home. A second row is located on the other side of the steps/railing in the foreground. Note the sprawl of the canes resulting in overgrowth and dimished fruit production.
A clean, well-constructed, properly trellised and pruned vineyard that will last a lifetime and bear fabulous fruit of the vine!
The opposite side vine row...the Before:
And the wonderful After...
The Garrett Vineyard - Corona
Installed in February
This back yard presented quite a challenge due to two factors: the homeowners wanted a "low profile" trelissed vineyard that would not block their beautiful views of the hillsides to the west & south and the Corona Valley and city lights to the north; and, as can be seen in the following photo, their dirt was comprised of thick clay with sand...which when wet was like baby poop, and when dry was like concrete. Ensuring good drainage was also a challenge, due to the high density of the dirt. A complex installation indeed!
Above: The terrain of the south vineyard is dug one foot below the backyard surface, which will "sink" the vineyard, thereby preventing any loss of the beautiful view of the Corona valley to the north. This vineyard will have a total height of 3 feet from ground to top fruiting wire...one foot of the three below ground, the other two above ground. This design was affectionately labeled the "pygmy vineyard" or "the sunken vineyard" by the MHV designer. The walls of the sunken vineyard will be lined with decorative landscaping blocks to prevent erosion, to support the dirt walls, and to add a nice look.
Above: This is a view of the south vineyard area looking westerly from the back of the home. The future vine rows have been marked with wood stakes. The man-made small hill in the background will one-day sport a firepit and seating area for a wonderful panoramic view.
Above: You can't install a vineyard without all the necessary supplies...for this project, end posts, mid posts, a little concrete, and landscaping blocks for the sunken vineyard...to name just a few.
Above: The "brothers four" are hard at work professionally setting posts and concreting them into the ground, which will prevent those Santa Ana winds from taking a costly and troublesome toll.
Above: The completed "sunken vineyard." The surrounding landscaping block still needs to be completed, but that was not part of our installation.
Above: The completed south vineyard, as seen from the top of the small hill to the west looking back toward the customer's home.
Above: Vines were also trelissed along the rear fence line.
Awrey Vineyard - Ramona
Completed in March
This project consisted of the total rehab/retrofit of an existing 200+ vine vineyard and the planting of a second vineyard using 75 rescued Cucamonga Old Vines as part of the Cucamonga Vineyard Heritage Society Vine Adoption program.
Photos to be posted soon
Bibeau Vineyard - Rancho Cucamonga
Completed in March w/ further enhancements to be made in April
The project consisted of the installation of a 2-row, 20-vine backyard vineyard on sloped landscape...aka Satan's Berm. The small hillside was hand-terraced using treated wood wall boards to form terrace-support walls to protect from soil erosion. A flight of stairs was constructed from railroad ties and secured with 1/2" rebar. The project will be finished with the spreading of a 2" layer of decomposed granite.
Yes, this small but steep hillside needed a great amount of clearing before the terraced vineyard could be installed. Two large tree stumps...one weighing in at 750lbs...had to be removed in addition to the rootage, weeds, a small tree, and bedraggled ground cover.
A cleans slate was soon hand-shoveled into terraces and footpaths. Treated 2x12x8 boards were used to shore up the terracing, and the boards were affixed into the ground using half-inch rebar inserted into pre-drilled holes that extended down through the width of the boards to hide the rebar. Two rows of trelissed vines will be planted, and a flight of stairs will be installed at the far end.
Below: Yes, the boss seldom gets his mugshot taken (since he's usually behind the camera). But when he does, it's proof that he's right there working along side his crew of knowledgable vineyard craftsmen. Here, George works on the installation of the dripline on the lower treliss wire.
Below: A shovel rests on the completed flight of stairs between the vineyard and the wood fence. Railroad ties make a firm, lasting staircase when properly installed.
Above: Our crew, including the boss and also the homeowner, dig the holes that will soon receive second year Zinfandel vines that were propagated from the homeowners' "mother vine" that is thriving just steps away closer to the home.
Above: The finished vineyard. Well, practically finished. We'll be back soon to cut the posts and stakes to their desired height, and to spread decomposed granite as a finishing touch! Beautiful!
The Herold Vineyard, Red Hill area, Rancho Cucamonga
Completed in March
Named "Vineto d' Collina Rosa" (Italian for Red Hill Vineyard), the homeowners wanted to honor the history of the Red Hill area of Rancho Cucamonga, while also honoring their own Italian wine-making heritage, by planting Italian-varietal grapevines in their back yard. Red Hill, like most of Rancho Cucamonga, was once home to acres of grapevines before they were wiped out to make rooms for homes and businesses. In contrast to the majority of other vineyards we have designed, this vineyard utilized 2"x2" stakes rather than wire trelissing. The homeowners also adopted 6 Cucamonga Old Vines that were rescued from the abandoned DeBerard vineyard at 6th & Archibald as part of the Cucamonga Vineyard Heritage Society's Old Vine Adoption program.
MHV was pleased to draw up the plan, supply the materials and vines, and oversee the installation...which was accomplished by more than 20 of the homeowners' family and friends who showed up to help. They did a fabulous job resulting in a fabulous vineyard!
A Wonderful Vineyard:
The Leach Vineyard, Red Hill, Rancho Cucamonga
April 10th, 2010
The Wonderful After:
The Egger Vineyard, Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga
April 11, 2010
The Wonderful After:
Treliss Existing Newly Planted Vines
Nelson Vineyard, Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga
The Before...3 freestanding table grapevines against a wall.
George stands proudly among the newly trelissed vines just after completion of the job. No job too small, no job too big!
The Gates Blackberry Vineyard Rehab
The Before...the berry vineyard was originally installed a few years ago using untreated wood posts (many of which had deteriorated and broken off at ground level) and green heavy clothesline wire. The drip system was problematic as the drip emitters would constantly clog since they rested on the sandy dirt.
The challenge: removed all posts, many of which were concreted into the ground, re-wire with standard vineyard wire, anchor the end posts to prevent sagging due to the weight of the fully-grown vines, and replace the drip emitters.
Pictures are forthcoming...
Cucamonga VERY Old Vines - Adoption
Mitchell Vineyard, Claremont Hills, CA
Two of four majestic, very old (perhaps 90-100 years) vines from Cucamonga as part of the Heritage Vine Adoption program through the Cucamonga Vineyard Heritage Society, www.CucamongaHeritage.org
Vineyard Structure Replacement and Vine Addition
Carney Vineyard, Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga
Time-warn, partially burned from a prior fire, termite damaged and ready to come down!
After tear out, the installation....
Expert workmanship among a beautiful vineyard! Planted at each new support post is a Syrah vine, a total of 10, which will be trelissed up and over the structure to create a beautiful drop of grape clusters for years to come.
Dennis Vineyards, Glendora, CA
We added 5 additional Cabernet Sauvignon vines and 5 additional Syrah vines to the lower right corner of the vineyard, adding additional support and end posts. We also added 2 additional Pinot Grigio vines in the midst of the existing table grapevines.
After taking off a couple months for extensive winemaking...and 500+ gallons of wine later, on to the next vineyard installation!
Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga
Post in the holes!
Planting the vines...
The wonderful completion:
Pic to come...
Your Dream Vineyard could be next! Don't wait....