Saturday, July 17, 2010

An Early July Update

All the grape vine pruning has been done and the cuttings burnt. The netting has been repaired and the winter weeds in the mid rows sprayed off. We are ready for the next growing season.
The 2010 Tempranillo and Semillon have been bottled. I 'lost' the Pinot Noir again! That's two vintages in a row. I have no idea what I am doing wrong. Back to the books. The 2010 Cabernet will spend another 6 months in the tank on French oak staves.
Most of the tussock (Poa labillardierei) has also been sprayed and is dead or dying. We have started on the bracken fern (Pteridium esculentum) eradication. This will probably take another year to complete. The spray used is systemic and very slow. The plant needs to absorb it through the very waxy leaves (fronds) and 'send' it to the roots and rhizomes in order to kill itself. This takes time especially during the colder winter months when many plants virtually shut down.

A few fallen trees have been converted into supplementary firewood. Wet weather has held up a few other tasks which we can get to in the spring.
The car has been in for a major service so we are ready to hit the road for our trip to South Australia.
It will be a two day drive to get to Mildura where we will really begin our adventure. It is near here the Darling River meets up with the Murray River.

The Murray-Darling Basin covers 1,061,469 square kilometres or approximately one-seventh of the total area of Australia (7,692,024 square kilometres).
It contains over 40% of all Australian farms, which produce wool, cotton, wheat, sheep, cattle, dairy produce, rice, oil-seed, wine, fruit and vegetables for both domestic and overseas markets. As Australia's most important agricultural region, the Basin produces one third of Australia's food supply and supports over a third of Australia's total gross value of agricultural production.
The three longest rivers in Australia all run through the Murray-Darling Basin. They are the Darling (2740km approx) the Murray (2530km long) and the Murrumbidgee (1575km long).
We are also looking forward to seeing some of the outback, albeit the fringes, around Broken Hill and then via the wine region of the Clare Valley to Wilpena Pound.

From there we will head south towards the capital of South Australia, Adelaide, and then into the wine regions of the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale.
Then it will be onto the coast at Victor Harbour and down the Coorong to Robe. From here we will visit the important wine region of the Limestone Coast and in particular the famous 'terra rossa over limestone' strip of the Coonawarra.
We could be buying the odd bottle or two of red here.
After visiting the crater lakes at Mt. Gambier, it's onto the Great Ocean Road towards Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, and eventually home.

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