Big News! Watson Vineyard Wine Club is now ready to take membership requests! Bonus-- You can win a FREE case of wine for being the 20th member to sign up for our Wine Club. Just go to our website and get started... we'll be waiting for you! Our Coleman grown Petite Sirah is almost ready for bottling and distribution! ...And remember you can now find your Watson Vineyard wine at two new locations! We're thrilled that we have our first Austin location, 34 Wine and Spirits on Southwest Parkway. And, also now in Brownwood at Classic Liquor.
We're very happy. Our planting was mostly a success yesterday. We had a good amount of wonderful volunteers, especially a few all stars that stood out and worked especially hard. We want to express our gratitude to the amazing people that helped, and especially those that got in the mud with us on Saturday. Due to the recent heavy rains, we were only able to plant approximately 400 of the 700 vines on Saturday because of all the standing water in certain areas of the vineyard. However, some special volunteers, Katie and Allie, stayed Sunday morning with Stephen to plant another 75 vines in parts where it started to dry up a little. Stephen will continue to get the other vines in the soil this afternoon and tomorrow. Thank you to Ann for providing breakfast and Caleb and Kristin for serving up a special lunch for everyone. It made the work much more fun!
As we approach our planting date for this year, we are gearing up by fixing the irrigation issues and adding to the infrastructure. After this planting we'll have approximately 600 vines; adding 300 grenache to the 300 petite sirah. We've been eagerly waiting for the existing vines to show some growth now that April is here. We just noticed some growth this past weekend so that is excited.. Stephen has been doing soil samples and ph readings and will be doing some fertilization of the soil on the next visit.
So far, we've gotten almost 3 inches of rain at the vineyard from this week's storm. We are excited about all the water in the creek, we haven't seen it that full in a long time. This year, we have lots of plans to get the irrigation system buried and set up the trellis system, in preparation of planting half an acre in April. The vines are ordered. The weather station is being repaired from the high wind damage is sustained recently, although we will probably have to move it to keep it from the continuing damage. Over the past winter months, we were working on the plans for our future growth, not just with the vineyard, but the winery. We still have so much to do, so it will be very busy, especially over the next year or two. We are excited.
Despite all efforts to get the vines we planted in April to take root, the conditions this year were not ideal for them to survive. The excessive heat and dry soil were too much for the newly planted vines to endure. A combination of factors contributed to the demise of this crop; the time from shipping to getting them into the ground, the excessive heat, and the lack of pre-irrigation setup. If it were only one factor instead of a majority of issues, it may have been a different outcome. We have found that it is somewhat common for the first crop to have problems or not make it all and then having to start again the next year. We re-tested the soil with another lab and found that the water PH was a little high so we will be adjusting that. We have learned a few things to do differently and we will definitely be planting again in April 2012. Stephen has begun to place his order with the nursery this month and we are still determined to get vines planted and take root. In the meantime, we will continue to finish the infrastructure set up. As this was a big hit emotionally and financially, we are still encouraged and excited to get the vineyard going. We appreciate all your support, thank you!
We installed the irrigation system this weekend and every muscle in our body is sore. That might have been worse than planting. Sunday was very cold, with strong winds and it rained on us while we tried to finish the big task. Then, of course, it rained over an inch last night, and we are not complaining, because we sure needed it!
Who wants a Watson Vineyard T-shirt? Surprisingly, they have become very popular after we wore them for planting weekend, and we have gotten several requests of people wanting to buy one. They are $25 each and you can contact us via the contact page on our site here and let us know your size and we can email you where to send your check. Thanks!
We're exhausted! 1350 vines have been planted in the last 3 days, thanks to many special individuals help: Lindi & Danny Armstrong, Sherry Autry, Mike & Sandra Stith, Charlie & Lauren Cecil, Harvey & Susan Lasiter, Jeromy Watson, Ann Watson, and we have a few Most Valuable Planters (MVPs), and they are Collier Watson, Katie Crum, and Justin Warren, and honorable mention to Grace Crum. They are now apart of the Watson Vineyard family and always will be. We couldn't ask for a better group of people to be apart of this endeavor. Y'all are the best, Thank you!!!
I just set up the website and am started to get it populated with everything that we are doing so you all are in the know.
Stephen is in Coleman finishing the setting up of the posts. Unfortunately, the 3000 gallon water tank did not arrive in time to have that set up this weekend. But, that's alright, we still have plenty to get done in the next 2 weeks before we start the planting of the vines! I sent out the invitation to all friends and family to ask for their help in coming out Easter weekend to help get the vines in the ground. I am so happy to have gotten several responses for those wanting to come out and contribute some time and get this done with us. Thanks to all of you!