Good Fruit Grower

November 2016

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62 NOVEMBER 2016 GOOD FRUIT GROWER LAST BITE More Young Growers at Pierre Paradis grower / Silverton, Oregon age / 23 crops / Wine grapes business / Manager, Pardis Vineyard and Rainbow Valley Enterprises family background / Pierre is the son of Peter and Donna Paradis, who were among the fi rst wine grape growers in Oregon's Abiqua Valley in the Willamette Valley Appellation. " " " " How did you get your start? I initially got started in the vineyard doing jobs with Dad either out in the shop or in the fi eld. Stuff like taking care of equipment so it would produce the results we wanted — from basic things, how to set a mower, to more complicated things like working with leaf removers and hedgers. These were tools where you have a very narrow window of use, that you really need to know how to use it, quickly and correctly. Some of the leaf removers you only have a few weeks to use them and then your chance is gone. If you have any breakdowns, I learned that you've got to get them running, even if you have to fi x it overnight to get it back in the fi eld. How do you grow your grapes? In Oregon, the predominant wine grape is Pinot Noir, usually in small blocks, managing them with a high attention to detail. Really taking care of the vines cluster by cluster. It's pretty intense work out in the vineyard. There's a lot of things that are done by hand, and really only recently are we starting to do things mechanically. With better machines available, we're beginning to introduce them into our programs to reduce costs and labor. What is the major growing challenge? In the Willamette Valley, it rains enough through the summer that a lot of vineyards don't have irrigation. Contrary to other growing regions, where you can use water to help control your vigor, here we don't have a lot of ways to control vigor. You end up having to control it in other ways. Things like hedging. In one year we'll hedge maybe four times, especially in vigorous sites. Other growing regions may not hedge at all because they can just ratchet down the water to the point where your canopy stops growing. Restricting the water to keep the plants going and ripen your fruit but you don't need to hedge. Why are you a farmer? I really enjoy thinking about what problems I have in the fi eld and working to solve them. One of my favorite times is harvesting in the fall. I get a feeling of accomplishment, just being done and seeing the grapes drive off on the truck. I've grown this product — not necessarily created it — but you've helped it along as best as you can. " I decided to go to college because I knew what we were doing in the vineyard, but I didn't understand why we were doing what we were doing. PLAY scan to watch the interview SPONSORED BY by TJ Mullinax More from this interview and other Young Growers at

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