This is also the time to assess the health of the vines. Usually there is a number of vines that did not make it through the winter, and we need to plan for removal and replacement.
This year we plan to propagate vines by taking 12" cuttings- leftovers from pruning- and grow new plants from these. Grape Phylloxera is not of significance here, so we can plant our new vines without special rootstock this Summer.
Parts of the vineyard show multiple mounds of freshly dug soil dug by pocket gophers. They can do a lot of damage by feeding on the grape vine roots. To keep the gopher population controlled, we had traps placed this week. The remainder of the season, we rely on the local predators- mainly barn owls, coyotes, and snakes- to keep a natural balance.