The acorns

September 28, 2007

When we talk about the correlation between oak and the vine, we often speak of the use of oak as a barrel, or maybe that its from an oak tree that natural corks come.  The marriage between oak trees and the grapevine has a longer history than that, began before we were on the scene, and continues to in ways that most people don’t understand well.

For instance, one of the major problems in newer vineyards is Armillaria Melea, the oak root fungus otherwise known as the honey mushroom or foxfire.  It’s edible and tastey, but when vineyards are cleared from the wilderness and planted, often oak tree roots persist deep below any ripper can reach.  There, they fester with oak root fungus that then spreads to the young new roots of the newly planted vineyard.  In a place where once an old oak tree grew deeply and was removed, it’s likely that its ghost will haunt forever the vines planted in its stead.  They will be weak, unproductive, and die young before they get a chance at glory.

This year there’s a lot more acorns than normal, and they’re falling earlier and often green.  Most of the conventional old-timey wisdom is that it means it will be an early, wet and cold winter.  A year of heavy acorns is known as a “mast year.”

Today its cloudy and cold, just he 50s so far, overcas with gray cold clouds the block out the sun but don’t yet threaten anything more than a bit of a drizzle. A acorns fall and the clouds thicken, it ems like the conventional old-timey wisdom is going to hold true.

The grape acids are acting topsy turvy this year, as I mentioned in my previous post.  The deer are in rut early this year and acting strange.  I think that its likely this year’s winter is  going to be a nasty and wet mess.

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