The harvest is past, the netting pulled off and stored, the grapes fermented and on their way to wine, irrigation systems drained, the equipment winterized and wrapped, and the wood stove is devouring the woodpile. Winter is here, and the vines are sleeping. After a decent rain year — over 13 inches at the ranch — and an early snow, it’s been warm and dry for the past month. But the canyon country aquifers depend on a snow pack, so light some sage, say a prayer, or just send good thoughts skyward; we need the water.
It’s winter duty time — time to fix and tend to all the things that get pushed to the bottom of the list during the mad growing season. Accounting, mending, restocking the ranch’s pantry, organizing the library, racking and bottling, chopping firewood, all in a day’s work.