Planting the stakes consists of … planting the stakes.
This is a necessary job to mark-off the rows (for example to show the tractor driver where to plough) and help the vine grow in the right direction by providing a sort of “guide”. In our region, we always plant stakes facing north to protect young plants from the Mistral wind.
This is both a tedious and tiresome job. We count about 2500 stakes for 1 hectare of land and there are few tools which exist apart from the mallet. An experienced (and determined) person can plant about 500 stakes in a day. And this if the soil so allows – if the ground is hard due to lack of rain, the same person can only plant 250.
I haven’t reached that level yet as after about a hundred stakes, my hands – more used to creating beautiful PowerPoint presentations – were covered in blisters. As I was blowing on them, I watched Bruno with admiration – he was planting his stakes with one hand and whistling … I really have a long way to go.