Visitors to the winery last year couldn’t help but notice the tree clearing, rock picking and plowing. The field just before our wooden bridge was a hive of activity all summer. We were reclaiming land that hadn’t been vineyard since the 1930s, and preparing it for its next phase.
Many were thrilled with the wide and expansive view that opened up from the tree removal. We made use of all the wood that was taken down—much of it was milled into lumber for our new entrance porch and future construction projects. Tree limbs were chipped and mixed with chicken manure for vineyard compost. Many of the rocks have become patios and walkways for our neighbors and guests.
We planted a diverse cover crop of clover, vetch and turnips that enriched the soil and provided food to many animals over the winter. That cover crop was recently plowed under to make way for 1,700 vines. We planted two locally-adapted Cornell white varieties (NY-81 & NY-45) and a red German hybrid called Regent. Keen observers may recognize these as components of our Good Earth White and Good Earth Red blends. We currently purchase those grape from Cornell’s experimental vineyard in Penn Yan. In about three years, we will harvest our first estate-grown grapes for these wines.
As you drive by this year, you’ll notice the bright green and blue grow tubes protecting the baby vines. The Good Earth block will be a work-in-progress for several years. We hope to incorporate animals like sheep and ducks to create a regenerative farm system. This vineyard block includes locally-adapted grape varieties that are more resilient in the face of climate change, and can be farmed organically.