Let’s Talk Irrigation!

The entire vineyard has irrigation lines that hang from a wire under the cordon. Every year Mom has to flush these lines to clear all the nasty things that grow in them and possibly plug the emitters that water each vine. Although watering doesn’t start until sometime in July, we will need to fertilize the vines through this system even before watering starts. Below is a short video on YouTube showing the flush. Dad is featured in the video so that Mom could film it. There are no videos of changing the emitters because Mom is usually mad when she does it.

Click on this link: Flushing Water Lines to see a video of line flushing (watch for the black goop that is flushed out) and hey, if you watch this video through to the end you can see a video of me with two of my best friends, Graciebutt and Annie in Montana a couple of years ago!)

Let’s look at the whole picture.

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The pictures in the slideshow represent the sequence of the operation: Pumphouse, tanks, timer, manifold, emitters, water to vines (and sometimes Mom!). Here is how it works: the pumphouse sits over the well which pumps water into the tanks and when the timer is turned to a specific block of vines it will send water to the manifold which will water the vines in that block through the emitters that may need to be changed and Mom gets wet. (And the knee bone is connected to the hip bone…) There are five blocks of vines and depending on their size are either watered alone or with another smaller block. All together in the mature blocks we have about 6,600 vines. That’s 6600 emitters that need to be checked. There are 115 rows in the mature blocks that need to be flushed. So…that’s all there is to it! Except…

…for the flushing of lines and replacing the emitters. From the manifold there are a series of pipes that lead the water to individual rows of vines, then to the emitters. You can see an emitter in this photo. Imagine trying to change it when the sytem is under pressure! Water flies everywhere! It’s a nasty job, so when Mom is hard at work I usually stay out of the vineyard because she tends to get a little crabby and a lot wet! Her shoes fill with water and she wears protective glasses. She must be crazy!

This picture shows me guarding her wet clothes that she put out in the sun to dry. After all, she may need to put them on tomorrow and finish up the job…I think she got fed up today and went in for a big glass of pinot noir! And now I am resting because it is hard work waiting for Mom to come out of the vineyard to play with me!

“Very good Honey. I knew it was just a matter of time before dogs will take over the world”John Forton (Uncle John)


Filed under Pinot Noir

3 responses to “Let’s Talk Irrigation!

  1. Joe Aaron


    You have come a long way from Kentucky. There you were in a pen most of the today. Today you sleep with your staff on the bed and run a agricultural enterprise. Awesome Dudette. Your Buddy Joe

  2. You know………… I thought I saw someone else wearing the same outfit as Honey bunny in the vineyard

  3. Kris

    Ahhh. I figured mom was busy in the vineyard. She has been pretty quiet this week. This explains it! You have posted a very nice commentary on the activities. Love the ‘black glop’. She is such a trooper to put up with that and getting all wet; something I know you would like much better than she does. Every dog person needs a dog to keep track of their stuff and patiently wait for them. You are doing an excellent job! And, your intimate knowledge of the irrigation system is very impressive. I’m sure the grapes will grow hearty and strong this year because of your contribution to the vineyard. XO

Please let me know what you think. Love, Honey

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