Freeing the Rootstock

When we decided to plant an additional space with Pinot Noir grapes, we opted to plant bare rootstock and then, after a year, graft on the grape clone in the field. The rootstock is buried under a mound of dirt to keep it moist and protected from the elements. Once the rootstock begins to bud and grow leaves, it is necessary to uncover the plant from the mound to prevent mildew. This job is normally contracted through our vineyard manager to be done by vineyard workers. But Clay and I decided that this was a job that not only we could do, but should do.