I didn’t have to ponder which vines to plant. I wasn’t about to plant grapes that I wouldn’t enjoy making wine out of. As a general example I didn’t plan on planting a white grape variety. Now, I only had to pick one of the red grape varieties. I didn’t want to grow Pinot Noir, it’s a spoiled grape that needs a lot of care, and I know it doesn’t grow well in most terroirs. I didn’t want Merlot and there were tens of others I didn’t want either. Some of the varieties that I was considering were Malbec, Sangiovese, or Nebbiolo, but in the end I settled for my obvious choices. I wanted to plant Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Through my connections in the Golan Heights Winery I discovered that they have their own grapevine nursery. When I rethought this reality I said to myself “Wait, why wouldn’t one of the biggest and best wineries in the country have their own nursery?”. It made perfect sense. After a couple weeks of phone calls and making sure that everything was on track, I finally put in my order. I ordered 120 Cabernet Sauvignon vines and 120 vines of Syrah.
Before ordering the vines I gave my friend the vineyard’s soil tests. She said the vines I would receive would be grafted on suitable rootstocks for the vineyard’s soil.
Now for the fun part…
I drove up to the Golan Heights Winery on Thursday to pick up the Cabernet vines. The vines slept a night in my pickup truck, and early Friday morning I drove them to their new home. I was happy to open up the vines’ cartons and introduce them to the fresh early morning air. I distributed the vines around the vineyard and started planting. I discovered that it was very hard but satisfying work, and felt relieved that I didn’t have the Syrah to plant as well.
The soil was soft and moist thanks to the irrigation a day before. Next to every dropper, I dug a hole a bit bigger than the vines' root system. I gently put in the vine and covered the roots from all sides. With every vine, I became more efficient, even though it still took me a long time to complete the planting. I treated every vine with personal and gentle care in order for it to return the favor with healthy and high quality wine grapes.
I was also very happy and proud to share this experience with my family. My very curious 2 and half year old son helped dig, fill, weed and distribute vines. He provided an amazing fun filled environment with his rolling laughter. I also owe a huge thank you to my amazing wife who supported me and photographed this satisfying afternoon.
I would also like thank my partner, friends, and advisors for helping me make a dream come true.
Here are some more pictures from this amazing day.
In a hurry… grapes already?
Planting the vine
A Cabernet Sauvignon vine
CSO – cheif security officer