- Thursday, April 18th, 2019
Last day. Was pretty good. Got there on time, walked up through the vineyard, started a row of L'Acadie. Lunch came, got back to work and finished the row. Started another row, this one was different, Siegfried. Massive canes are the norm, almost bull-canes. Annoying, but at least it's healthy. At four was told it was enough for today, so I handed in my pruners and left.
Turns out that one guy was there yesterday, I just couldn't see him. The other two showed up not long after I left, and had I stopped in to the winery/office first, I would have been told they were on their way. Of course, I could have also found myself in the cellar, but maybe not.
- Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
Went to the vineyard today, waited for forty-five minutes, nobody showed up. Walked up to where we were working yesterday, all the way down the row, nobody in sight up there, either.
After I got home I realized I probably should have stopped at the winery to see what was going on. Only tomorrow left.
- Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Saturday morning I noticed I have a bit of tendonitis starting in my right wrist. Mostly involving the tendon that moves when I move my ring finger. Started taking ibuprofen for it. Was glad for the rest yesterday; it was raining too hard. After lunch today, we got out of the cars and it started pouring so we went home. Two more days.
- Friday, April 12th, 2019
I got a sunburn today. It was pointed out that if I didn't want a sunburnt face I shouldn't work facing the sun. It hadn't occurred to me as I've never spent enough time facing the same direction in previous outdoor work. I think sunscreen would be a good idea, though there are only four days left of the work-term.
- Thursday, April 11th, 2019
By lunch today enough snow was melting I decided to switch back to rubber boots. Nice day, though. Pruned a few rows of Marechel Foch. Had my pruners sharpened. Sean from NSCC stopped by to see how things were going. Told him about how Seyval is grown here, then the four cane method for the Foch.
At one point I came to a trunk with no canes. I put my hand on it as I looked to see if I could even find buds ... and it snapped off. The fruiting wire was right through it. There were some suckers coming up from the ground, so I took a stake from a vine that no longer needed it it and pruned up a sucker.
Another vine I encountered had a rotten hollow in the head. As in I poked it with my pruners and discovered a few inches of soil in the head. I left a spur halfway down the trunk and pruned it as normal.
Left at three-thirty when I finished my row and discovered I was alone in the vineyard.
- Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
Only worked until four today as the others left at three-thirty. I missed Monday because I didn't feel the best and thought it was supposed to snow. I'm fine, it was probably something I ate in combination with the mold in the green bin. Then yesterday was nasty; tried going in, but my windshield kept icing over. Got a reply saying I didn't have to make the trip if I didn't want to, so I didn't. Turns out nobody else was there, either.
It was surprisingly nice considering there is a few inches of snow on the ground. Even saw two deer trying to figure out how to get past us.
There was bottling going on this afternoon, but I wasn't invited to learn how the bottling line works. I imagine it's pretty boring as they said they're fully automated.
- Friday, April 5th, 2019
Today was almost as windy as yesterday. It died down a bit later on. We're back into Seyval. Not much left, we'll be done Monday morning. Assuming it's not raining; I haven't checked the forecast.
A few times today I tried to cut wires, and once even a stake. The Seyval is a mess. Stakes (the one I tried to snip was horizontal) despite the vines not being trained to a trunk. A fruiting wire despite the canes being tied vertical. Wires in the wrong place on the poles. Wires that can't possibly be tight enough. It's not all that bad, of course, just a bit here and there.
- Thursday, April 4th, 2019
Today is bloody windy. Up in the vineyard, it was knocking me over and whipping the vines around while I tried to clean them up. Between the wind, the mud, and the snow squalls I was sent home at one o'clock.
It actually wasn't too bad, I was dressed for it. The L'Acadie we were pruning was a mess, though. One more row and we're back into Seyval, bending and even kneeling to work. It'll be the last of the Seyval, though.
- Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019
Well, I'm a bit sore right now. My right hand and my back, mostly. It's been a while since I've put in a full day of work, especially something physical. It feels good. I'm just tired.
The Seyval is brutal on the back because the founder decided that since it likes to grow straight up, there shouldn't be a trunk. Basically, it's a tangle of canes coming out of a head that's barely above the soil. Then there is the tangle of weeds around it that has to be pulled out of the way just to see where things are coming from.
At least it's not exactly like the school's vineyard. The posts aren't even as tall as me, at least not most of them.
Might get a day off tomorrow as it's supposed to rain. I guess I'll see in the morning.
- Monday, April 1st, 2019
I was scheduled to start at Agriculture Canada at 9:00 AM this morning, but at 7:15 PM last night, I got an email saying there was a change in plans. More paperwork had come in on Friday, and NSCC wants more time to review it before allowing it to be signed. I will still be going to Agriculture Canada (I think), just in June/July, not April.
Instead, this morning I went to the school, picked up paperwork for Sainte-Famille Wines Limited, emailed them, drove there to get the paperwork signed, then brought it back to the school.
They weren't doing anything today as the rain made the vineyard too mucky. Tomorrow morning I'm to show up at 8:30 AM to meet the crew and start pruning Seyval. They have twenty acres, but I imagine we'll have moved on to another variety before I leave.
I will most likely also have a chance to learn bottling, as they will be doing some bottling in the next week or two. They're a big enough operation to have a fully automated system, so it should be a good learning experience.
I signed a confidentiality agreement, so I probably shouldn't say too much here. That's more for trade secrets, like recipes and such, though, from my understanding.