This is in progress, anther learning experience.
From the Vineyards of Bitner Wines Caldwell Idaho. The gentleman is Mr. Ron Bitner who is an alum of College of Idaho for whom I was working. Lovely vineyard, begun in the 80’s, reminding me of those I worked in the Dry Creek area of California and some in France just to the north of Spain. That area of Idaho has a lot of Basque folks and Ron has begun to plant some of the vines in the manner used in Basque Country. This was from about an hour but “God willin’ and the Crick don’t rise” perhaps I’ll get back both to Idaho and to Basque Country in Europe. Those folks always kind to me too. Some of my favorite wines, deep dark and spicy, lots of Grenache grape, similar in my taste to Cahors & maybe Maderian. Maybe we should have cooked a lamb stew in the field pot. Like Elzueard Bouffier in Giono’s Man who Planted Trees. Had that South of France feel to it.
Some of the vines have been planted in the Basques manner .. as in Basque Country.
I’ve included a mountain view as the snows were only moderate this year and that”s where the water comes from, melting down into the Snake River. Always liked the West, not unlike the Bucks County when I was a kid. Of course our Appalachian Mountains are older more finished by the wear of time. And we get more rain. I’ve been told temperature, rainfall, and sun have lots to do with regional berries & grapes. The irrigation here was both line drip and spray, I assume toward evening to avoid evaporation. In the earth of my fathers. I have to ask a friend to translate. My three French dictionaries haven’t helped. Keep thinking: Auberge- country Inn. Sounds similar.
Two interesting views of the irrigation systems … which seem to be a fairly accurate indicator of the local terroir. Which is something that may be in flux within our changing climates. Standard above ground rotating spray can be seen over looking just past Ron’s smile.
The dancing vines might be the best illustration for the drip lines.. One can see the plastic drip pipes at the base of each vine. Allowing slow, frugally consistent water to the base. Flow adjusted place a circular wet spot about the size of the root structure.
Further up the thread, near the photograph with the sun bursting off the wine, was moreabove ground rotating irrigation. Watering the leaves and berries. In my experience with other berries (cranberries, strawberries, blue berries in our own orchard along with the fruit trees; the “rain style irrigation” also provides warm water … a temperature above freezing to limit cold weather damage during the growning season. I’m told it can extend and modify the growing year but clearly is restricted by available water.
Lots to learn and that was the point of the shoot. Ron’s training, I believe was entomology, but the point of a liberal arts education always seemed to me to allow individuals to educate themselves over a lifetime, making for very special lives.
And that was the tie in to College of Idaho. This pleasant hour and adventure was courtesy of another job from my friend Lorna Hunter now at the College of Idaho.
Again here the mountains of late spring with a scattering of remaining snow. The wines had a very nice, near Mediterranean substance and body, that I truly enjoyed with the company of my friends at a local Idaho Restaurant. Biggest compliment I can make is wishing to share it with my son.
A friend from Boise, has kept me informed. The winter was a cold and terrible as ours here in Pa and a couple of weeks back end of June early July … they were hitting 105 degrees.
© H Scott Heist 14
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