Well, I'll still pretend like it's a typical January and mid-winter rather than spring. Here's my vineyard calendar for this month.
- Make a pre-planting checklist of everything that needs to happen before the new vines arrive from the nursery in March
- Place order for all of required planting/trellis materials
- Review reference materials: is there anything new that has been published? Are there new editions of materials such as the trusty spray guide?
- Pre-prune heartier varietals. I wouldn't touch vinifera varietals until March if possible, though, to help delay budbreak. Right now I'm just doing a little clean-up on Nortons.
- Check your applicator/chemical license to ensure it's up to date and place order for all early season sprays. I'll now include a March application of soybean oil to help delay budbreak. This is on top of the usual early lime-sulfur sprays
- Review your business plan and see how you're making progress on long-term goals
- Meet with your accountant to get paperwork ready for tax season
- Cook and eat well, and drink lots of good wine
To augment my final item, I should mention that my recent favorite budget-friendly finds are a Clare Valley Austrailan Riesling and Primus, a Carmenere, Cab Sauv and Merlot blend from Chile. Both around ten bucks. The Riesling was un-German. Not that I have anything against the German version, but this was bone dry and raw, maybe even a bit of straw or grass. Many folks don't like those characteristics, but I thought it was interesting on top of the the typical melon and citrus of the cooler climate versions, and it also might hint at the kind of Riesling that might develop in our hot summer conditions here in Missouri. I already want to amend my vine order and plant some. It's a tendency you have to learn to fight, otherwise you'll wind up with twenty rows of different grapes and twenty different budbreaks, veraisons, harvests, etc, plus not enough of anything to make a barrel.