No ribbons for either the pictures or the wine at the Milton show. The standard of photography in the various classes was excellent and I wasn't surprised that I missed out.
I got some valuable feedback from the wine judging. My wines were considered "unbalanced" which is caused by too high an acidity. So from now on will be looking more carefully at the total acidity (TA) as well as the pH. There were positive comments about color and the use of a carbonic macerated fraction which lifts the fruit flavor.
The show was well attended and the weather held out for both days despite dire forecasts. In fact the weather bureau has been so far off the track lately it makes you wonder what sort of models they are working with. The grape protective spray programme is dependant on accurate forecasts so it's important that they get it right most of the time.
The calves have accepted their separation and are enjoying the abundance of green grass in the upper paddocks. Their mothers are looking good as well. I think they must be greatful at not having to feed for two.
We have been having some wild dog problems. A pack of 5 feral domestic dogs has been causing concern in the valley especially for those with foals and calves. I approached the Rural Lands Protection Board for assistance but as the problem is not with dingoes, they passed the buck onto the local council. They were no help at all so we will take matters into our own hands by laying baits.
The grapes are all doing well. The Cabernet is slowly ripening and early April looks like the harvest date. Despite the netting there has been a lot of activity from Currawongs which have caused some fruit loss from the vine extremities. These birds hang on the netting and swing back and forth picking off the grape berries on each inward swing. Very clever. This loss however will not be substantial. The only way to combat this problem is to overall net the whole bock rather than row by row. I will investigate the economics of this.
The Semillon and the Tempranillo continue to flourish although there are now signs that the growth flush is coming to an end. I guess it is Autumn and they are getting ready to "close down".