A Bird’s Eye View

It’s hot people.  Very hot.  The Pacific Northwest is having one of her few and far between spells of fiery, god forsaken heat. 

It’s good I guess, I had already forgotten what it’s like to be really hot.  This is a good reminder.  Luckily our air conditioner is spectacular.  It cools the house immediately to frigid temps.  I sit here typing in thick, fluffy, winter socks and a sweater.  Outside it’s hotter than a million suns burning down upon us.  Okay, that’s a bit dramatic but you get it, right?

We were at the vineyard property and it was just too warm.  The kids almost melted.  We made it back to the car just in time.

As you can see there is no shade.

This ground is currently being ripped, a term used in vineyard production to describe deep tillage of the soil before vine plantation to remove old roots and loosen the subsoil.  Ripping will help improve soil structure which is key in viticulture.

It’s a massive job and one pass with the CAT D8 is not enough.  Cross-ripping is also required.  Then raking, then stick-picking…

This picture excites me to no end.  I shot this using extreme telephoto, from very, very far away on our property.  These are vines planted last November at our neighbors and very close friend’s vineyard, J Wrigley.  They sit directly across from us, up high on the ridge.

I am ecstatic to finally see their vines popping up where I only saw posts months beforehand.  It only means their wine is so much closer to being in my glass.  I. Can’t. Wait.  We are so excited for them.

If you don’t already know, this is Willie.  He is our vineyard guy, the one responsible for all the work you have seen so far.  The one who took this job not knowing some crazy lady with a blog would be snapping his picture endlessly while he works.  We truly appreciate all of his sweat equity.  Without him we would be just stumps and mud.  Thanks to him, we are now just mud.  You have no idea what an accomplishment it is.  We have found good people here and are eternally grateful.

I took this picture especially for Willie’s sister who lives clear across the country and gets only occasional glimpses of her brother and his big yellow machines from this blog.  Darlene, this one’s for you.

Time for a scarf, this a/c is really cranking out the cold.

One Year Ago Today:  “Bob”

Post a Comment


  1. Good picture of Willie. Darlene should like it! I am jealous of your AC. We are experiencing almost 100 degrees here, and it is 80 degrees right now…I am melting. At least we do have AC in the bedroom..and I am off to a beckoning chilly room for relief.

    P.S. I am enjoying seeing your vineyard progress…..

  2. Sorry about the heat. Hate it. Over in the northeast it is hot AND humid. Brutal really. The pictures are so interesting and exciting. How do you remain patient through such a laborious process?

  3. Lydia 3

    Ooooh, the thought of ice-cold air conditioning makes me blue-lipped with envy. It’s brutally hot here in the northeast, too. I’m so glad you ventured outside for a bit to take photos — it’s been so much fun to watch the growth of your vineyard.

  4. Kate 4

    Nice shot of The Vineyard Guy, Cathy! And hey, I told you we were talking about you at Blog Fest recently. It was about coming out there and celebrating your vineyard. And I. Can’t. Wait. Either! I am so excited for you.

  5. Donna 5

    Enjoying every minute of your journey. Willie is quite cute, btw. Do ya bake for him?

    Love the pictures, simply majestic, and beautiful!

  6. I thought about you this morning as I was atching the news…WOW, stay inside all day and keep cool. Great shots and you can see all the progress.

  7. Julia 7

    I love reading the progress of your vineyard. So exciting!

  8. How fun to see the progress of your vineyard – will be looking forward to future updates!

  9. ntsc 9

    Outside NYC at 6 AM it was 79 F and very close to saturated air, I cant see the otherside of the hollow for the fog.

    We do have central air but try and not use it.

    Nice shots of the land and of the cat operatore.

  10. Central air is the greatest invention of the 20th century, hands down.

  11. BigSis 11

    What beautiful country! This has to be a really thrilling time for you. Enjoy it!

  12. I’m jealous of your AC!!! We don’t have that fancy luxury over here on the East Side … Just good ol’ fans:)

    Our high will be 92 today.. but it does cool down at night – which I am grateful for. Another beni of being at 3,500 feet!!!

  13. It looks beautiful as is, dry and all, you are bless my friend to live your dream. Enjoy!

  14. Pmwartd and forward snd yes it is HOT!!!!! They say it will reach 42C early next week.

  15. Ramona 15

    So happy for you. Wishing you the best of luck with your dream.


  16. While we sit here lacking a traditional New England summer, you guys are roiling in a typical So Cal summer.

    I envy you the AC…it really comes in handy out here when it gets pretty stinkin humid which ups the heat index dramatically. I’m just going to pretend my fan is an AC. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

    Truly enjoying seeing, through your words and photos, the birth and growth of your vineyard. It’s pretty exciting to this New England girl!

  17. Trisha 17

    It is looking good! I can’t wait to see your vines popping up too! It won’t be long now!

  18. megan 18

    Your lucky you headed North! Yesterday is was 110 in Redding and the day before it was 112. Looks like the property is coming along nicely. I swear one day I’ll be enjoying a glass of wine in your tasting room!
    AC rocks!!!

  19. Exciting indeed! It’s so fun to see the progression.
    By the way, that chocolate and zucchini cake looks fabulous and those Willamette wraps look heavenly!

  20. Kim 20

    Your just killing me with the talk of icy cold air conditioning! I slept with cool towels on my body! :0)

    I’m so excited to go along with you on this wine making journey! Hope to buy a bottle one day! I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before but can you tell me what type of grapes you’ll be growing.

  21. Flea 21

    It’s so good to see such progress on your property! Stay cool!

  22. Noble Pig 22

    Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and hopefully Riesling.

  23. Bob 23

    I can’t wait to see your wine! I should probably start sweet talking you now (you lovely, intelligent person you) so I can get a free sample when it’s ready in however many years it takes. :D

  24. dawn 24

    Great pics, love the circle eye, how did you do that?

    The picture of Willie is great, he’s so cute! I’m sure his sister will love to see his smiling face!

  25. Pam 25

    Great photos – love seeing the progress. Can you believe it’s going to be 107 in Portland today? UGH.

  26. Marjie 26

    I’m glad it’s going along well.

  27. God bless Willie. Now stay inside!

  28. Biz 28

    We have only turned our air on ONCE this whole summer – extremely unusual for the midwest.

    This makes me think that we’ll stroll into September with temps in the 70’s, only to have snow storms in October! :D

    Love the progress!

  29. I love this post!
    I can just feel the excitement in your writing.

  30. Oh, that kind of heat makes me cranky…really cranky! Yuck! But you just stay warm in your igloo there!

  31. It’s hot everywhere!!!

  32. LisaD 32

    It’s so cool to learn about how a vineyard is established. I grew up in eastern Washington and they just sorta popped up everywhere. I never much thought about how they came into existence.

  33. Lisa Sipple 33

    Wow, so much work to be done on such a large scale, it’s quite the undertaking. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  34. Cheryl 34

    Does it make me a stalker that I SOOO saw the picture and said, “Oh that’s Willie!” before I scrolled down?

    Seriously, I am ALL up in the advance wine order list….

  35. Laura 35

    Which is so weird because we are having the coldest summer EVER.

  36. Noble Pig 36

    OMG Cheryl that made me laugh out loud.

  37. LilSis 37

    Great photos! I bet Willie is secretly very happy about having his picture snapped by the crazy lady! He looks happy!

  38. pam 38

    Wow! Lot’s of progress!

  39. I’m envying you your AC and scarves! It is a little warm isn’t it!?

    Nice shot of the neighbor’s vineyard!

  40. Shannan 40

    I am glad you put the part about your cranking AC at the end of your post. Once I read that I went into stunned envy mode. You have AC? In the PNW? Rare. Lucky devil. Now pardon me while I go dunk myself in my portable baby pool.

    ps – Hope your neighbor’s grapes survive the heat. Fingers crossed.

  41. Hilary 41

    Good for Willie .. I bet he’s baking now? I hope he’s well supplied with blueberry lollies.

    That’s a lovely gesture putting pics of him on your blog for Darlene and the rest of their family – let alone us .. seeing the vineyard progress.

    Great that you can see what yours will look like this time next year ..

    Well done .. and enjoy the progression ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  42. Darlene 42

    Thank you, thank you for the fantastic photos of Willie in action! Now I can show people who have never seen such machines what I mean when I say BIG!


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