We have taken advantage of unseasonably warm weather and started preparing for vineyard expansion! We are planting 5 more acres of grapes this year: 4 acres will be Albarino and 1 acre of Roussanne. This is very exciting because the 4 acres of Albarino will bring the vineyard up to the driveway right in front of the house! Having the vineyard right out the front door was my criteria for picking our house site. I am soooo excited! Preparing for vineyard expansion always starts with finding a backhoe. This year, we rented a backhoe for the day and John began digging the trenches for the new underground drip irrigation. Below you can see preparing for vineyard expansion with trenches dug and the underground pipe in place. In the following closeup of the trench, you can see the black riser tubing that attaches at the bottom of the trench to the pipe. At the top of the ditch, the riser tube will be connected to the drip tape going down the center of each vine row. The underground drip tape will be put in when we plant the vines. Each riser tube was held in place and the place marked so we can find it when planting time comes. I don't know about you, but I would be intimidated kneeling down in front of the tractor like that! Here is another view of the trench being filled in while the boys mark the spot of the riser tubing. Preparing for vineyard expansion is always exciting because it means we are growing. As the children grow, many of them have chosen to work in the family business. It is exciting to see them value this lifestyle so much that they want it for their own! For us, it is a much simpler life than we had when John had a "real" job in the corporate world. Slower paced would be a good way to say it. It works for us and we love it!