We will be looking to begin pruning in a few weeks.
Our exploration of the coast line was put on hold due to a long lingering bout of influenza in the camp but we hope to resume that activity soon.
The Semillon has been bottled (and is drinking well) and the Tempranillo was blended with the Cabernet due to a lack of any perceivable quality other than great colour. This year's Cabernet has been racked off the fermentation lees and has just completed malolactic fermentation. It has been treated it with egg white to begin the fining process. The Pinot Noir has taken on a extremely unusual taste. Now this could be because the taster's palate has been shot to bits by the 'flu and as a result the '08 Cabernet bottling has been postponed until this clears up and the last minute acid adjustments can be made with some confidence.
The cattle seem fat and happy but now is the time the grass stops growing and the pressure of reduced feed becomes a reality as the cold season progresses. Luckily we have a good supply of lucerne (alfalfa) hay on hand to see us over the lean time. This situation is complicated by the fact that despite good rain over the year there have been little sustained heavy downfalls resulting in run off and the dams are looking a little empty right now. We can divert our house water into drinking troughs if the need be but we have never had to do this before.
Plans for our short holiday to Hong Kong are progressing and we have mapped out a preliminary sight seeing itinerary that involves outlying islands as well as the city. Hopefully A(H1N1) won't put a dampener on our party. That area has been relatively free of any of the current problems but their experience with SARS has made the Chinese administration a little jumpy and their flu prevention/control measures are quite severe. They quarantined a whole hotel with its 200 guests for a week in early May because one of the guests (from Mexico) presented to a local hospital with swine flu symptoms which were later confirmed.