One million things on our to do list and so many moving parts that go along with this adventure that I thought I’d share a few.
We’re working on clearing 10 acres…at the same time we need to figure out how to get a tractor across a really muddy patch of the pasture to get to our other 2 acres of pasture. There’s this patch we call “bogsmeade” for lack of a better name and its not so much a bog as grass that wants to be wet and muddy because we think there’s a natural spring underground. This is great and maybe we can dig it out and it can become a pond one day but until then its blocking us from visiting the other portion of our pasture that needs to get mowed. We’re waiting until some land is cleared because we may be able to drive the tractor up on the hill slightly to avoid getting stuck in the mud but it’s something we’re trying to accomplish fairly soon.
After we can get over there to mow and assess the pasture we think we’d like to build our barn over there to house the tractor, a car, and our tools etc. So whatever solution we come up with needs to be able to support a cement truck so maybe that means carving out a flat spot on the hill for a vehicle.
Dan is getting quotes for pole barns and is looking to buy a used plow (no leads yet) and a tiller (think we found one). As soon as the hill is cleared we need to scatter some grass seed (rye and fescue and later some clover, I’m pricing seed since we need about 500lbs to start) and then get to amending the soil for grape growing which can take a while.
We are getting pricing on grape vines from several suppliers. We’ve looked at Double A vineyards which has some mixed reviews so not sure this is will be our primary source, Inland Desert Nursery (Washington) and Wonderful Nurseries located in California. Dan loves geeking out and researching which specific clones and rootstocks are best suited to our growing region. Initially we’re thinking about planting many of the usual suspects Merlot, Cab Sauv, Petite Verdot, Cab Franc, and some others: Albariño, Vidal Blanc, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo. This could put us at around 3+planted acres which is triple what we intended for year 1 haha in year 2 we may add some more new varietals like Sagrantino, Grenache, Syrah...we’ll see!
In the meantime I’ve been researching tax agents because we’ll for sure need help filing this year with 2 businesses and our personal taxes. We just hired Pantana an all female team out of Acworth who are excited to work with a vineyard and come recommended by Dave Ramsey so we know they’ll give sound advice.
Next up is purchasing some building plans for the A-frame so that we can make changes if necessary before we file for a building permit. All this will require septic and well tests, we’ll need to have power run up to the build site which we hope will be free since this will be a commercial business and not strictly residential.
Tonight we’re driving to Dahlonega to buy a GEO tracker style vineyard vehicle for dirt cheap. We wanted to get some kind of UTV Ranger for the farm but new these can cost 10–13k, used aren’t much less, you might luck out and find one for 4k but location is an issue since we can’t trailer it…not to mention our budget is about 2k. So the car we’re looking at we’ll hopefully get for $2500, it’s a little manual transmission, 4WD, good tires with a removable back roof so we can use the back “seat” (also removable) as a pickup bed for tools, grapes, whatever.