Thursday, March 24, 2005

It's All About the Weather!

Autumn came with a rush with greatly reduced temperatures and unfortunately, for grapegrowers with late ripening crops eg. Cabernet Sauvignon, lots of rain. A deep low pressure system in the Tasman Sea caused gale force southerly winds on the south coast. These brought rainfalls of up to 75mm (3ins)over a few days. Obviously fruit sugar levels have been reduced by the dilution affect. Lucklily there is still no sign of disease and leaf cover is still dense. If we get a few weeks of sunshine then maybe Baume' levels will increase to a reasonable level. There is some sign of bunch stalk senescence so think that another 2 weeks may be the limit of the ripening process. It would be nice to get a sugar level of around 13.0 Baume' with a resultant 13% alcohol wine.
The netting configuration has been improved and the bird attack has been reduced. Hopefully once they realise they can't get any more they will move on. Apart from the Currawongs, the satin birds are also in the area. I have seen them trying to burrow under the pinned netting.
The new vines continue to do well.
Easter is here and this means an influx of tourists to town and surrounding areas for the four days. Even this morning, activity in the supermarkets and shops was a little frantic. I got my holiday supplies early and headed home. It's safer to be a recluse at this time of the year and let the holiday makers do their own thing. I fear the beaches could be a dangerous place over the next few days. The storms have brought in a huge 3-4 m swell which will persist until next week. The roads will also be crowded with drivers trying to get where they are going as quickly as possible no matter the risk. The police have indicated that they are targeting the Princes Highway, our main thoroughfare and, as it's double demerit points time, there is even more reason to be careful.

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