Thursday, October 14, 2004

Is Summer Here Already?

Yesterday was the hottest October day on record. It reached 37C (99F) and was accompanied by gusty dry westerly winds.
Needless to say evaporation rates were high and the benefits of the rain a week or so ago would have been somewhat negated if this weather pattern had continued.
Lucklily around 6pm the predicted southerly change came in and the temperature dropped to 19C in an hour. Humidity increased by 200%.
I watered the most susceptible young vines by hand well into the evening.
This morning I checked all the newly planted vines. There was some evidence of scorch but it was minimal. There were no fatalities despite some vineguard damage.
Decided to hand water the entire vineyard which took some hours.
Also reduced some of the stronger Semillon vines to one shoot as growth in the last two weeks had been quite substantial.
These shoots will eventually form the main trunk of the established vine.
None of the Tempranillo are advanced enough yet for this procedure.
Rain was predicted for the following few days so sprayed a combination of sulphur (against powdery mildew) and copper (against downy mildew) on all vines. Both are "preventative" sprays.
Unfortunately some rain has come earlier than expected and it may be that due to the lack of rain fastness of the two chemicals applied (min. 6 hours) efficacy may have been reduced.
As we are travelling to Brisbane tomorrow for the weekend, reapplication may be necessary next week in combination with a "curative" spray.
The established Cabernet continues to demonstrate quite dynamic shoot growth.

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