We added a second irrigation line recently in order to better see to the needs of individual Pinot Noir plants. The compact size of Gantz Family Vineyards – we have 4.5 planted acres – allows us to manage the property on a micro-level and pay this kind of attention.
In the normal course of the life of a vineyard, plants require individual care. We may decide to re-graft a new varietal on an existing rootstock, a plant may be in trouble, or it may die and need to be replaced. All these challenges often require a different irrigation strategy. When a plant needs more water than normal, we usually have to hand-carry water to the plant or irrigate the entire row. The first option is hard work, time-consuming and inefficient. The last option is a bad one, even in the best of times. In the midst of our current severe drought, a second line will allow us to irrigate efficiently while paying careful attention to our limited resources.
Our first line has emitters that provide water to the plants the entire length of the row. The second line will have emitters only at the plants that need the additional attention. When the plants have received sufficient water, we remove the emitter and plug the hole with a “goof” plug.
Over the course of a couple weeks, Clay upgraded each row with additional plumbing to accommodate the second line. Then came time to attach the hose. Rolling out the long irrigation hose and attaching hangers sounds easy. We thought so, too, until we did it ourselves. We did one full block, and it took a couple days of really back-breaking work. The wonderful guys from Cornerstone Certified Vineyard came in and completed the work in a fraction of the time. We are constantly reminded how fortunate we are to have them on our team.