We don’t know what we’re doing with grapes. We inherited them from the previous owners of our house, an elderly Portuguese couple. These vines are likely older than we are.
Some years our grape yield is more than we can handle; one year my mother-in-law made jelly from them. This year, I don’t know what we did differently, but all we had were leaves.
I have writing years like that. Years where I can see that the vines of my mind are still hardy, but they bear no fruit. Sometimes it’s because I let them run wild earlier, and they only need time to recover their sap. Sometimes, it’s because I cut them back, harshly, all but the ragged dark trunk.
This year, I am knee deep in the crush, and well on my way to a strong vintage.