Tuesday, December 14, 2004

December...so far

We have a busy few weeks. A trip to Sydney doubled as a Christmas shopping excursion and a new car pickup. We also enjoyed a Thai meal with family in the shadows of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at Milsons Point. It is a very crowded and noisy restuarant that spills out onto the street but the food is excellent and there is a excellent wine shop next door. The 2004 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, NZ is a wonderful wine to try and goes well with Asian food.
The new car is great. It is very comfortable to drive and has lots of "goodies" to play with. I have to be careful with the speed however. It does tend to get away from me. Guess that's what happens when you suddenly have a motor double the capacity you are used to.

Subaru Forester 2.5 X
We have had weeks of rain and thunderstorms. So far the grapes have remained disease free. This is not the case with a lot of vineyards in the area. Downy mildew is such a problem there is a shortage of chemicals to deal with it. No one expected such a prolonged rain event. The Cabernet Sauvignon has set its fruit and bunch sizes seem bigger than usual.

New Bunches on Cabernet Sauvignon
In the new block, the Semillon is being trained along the cordon wire. Almost 80% are at this stage. The rest are catching up. The Tempranillo have put on a spurt and may not be the problem first thought. In the meantime we continue to help out in the Milton vineyard. We estimate that we must be at least to 50% of planting. That's 7500 vines! It should be all downhill from here.

Semillon Trained Along Cordon Wire
The farm is looking good. Dams are full and the grass is green and lush. The cattle are taking advantage of the good feed and are looking fatter. The calves are doing well and it may soon be time to wean them which is always a noisy time.
The downside of the humid weather is the huge tick population explosion. They are annoying not only the cattle and the horse but us humans as well. We have to be sure to be wearing insect repellent any time we spend a lot of time in the paddocks. Their bites can be quite nasty if you are allergic and of course there is always the danger of Lyme Disease.

The Calves
The horse should be sprayed with insecticide. But as she hates this I have to wash her with it. This is always fun! I have found a "pour on" for the cattle which will not only deal with the ticks but also with internal worms, lice and even liver fluke. This beats oral administration any day. So I guess we will be rounding them up any day now and doing the job on them.
In the meantime we are enjoying our fresh peaches from the orchard and our fresh lettuce, rocket and herbs from the vege garden.