Happy New Year to all my readers!
For us 2011 started with a pretty difficult vintage. Continuous wet weather made fungus control very uncertain and we paid the price when our Semillon "went to God" in spring. The reds seem to be faring better so far.
The strange weather continued all year under the influence of La Nina and it was officially the coldest start to summer in 50 years. In fact we had our first swim of the season on Christmas day!
On the positive weather side, there were no huge wind storms, damaging thunder storms or bush fires in our area this year.
The same can't be said for northern Australia, especially Queensland, with some disastrous cyclones (hurricanes) and wide spread flooding at the beginning of the year.
The house got a new roof as well as some remedial structural work and we are pleased the leaks have stopped. Worth every dollar.
The cattle got through winter in good condition on supplementary feed and produced 5 calves in the spring. Sadly, one didn't make it (no, not the assisted birther) but that's life on the land. Snake bite? Who knows.
There was a bit of a health scare mid year but things are now going well and all that has been put behind us.
The trip to the USA in September was great. New York, Washington DC and Nashville were all new destinations for us and we saw and did lots. Catching up with family in South Dakota was, as usual, also fun.
We are now at the end of the festive season but summer holidays for the bulk of Australians will continue for another month. After they have all gone home our lives will return to normal ie. quiet and peaceful, on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales.
Plans for 2012?
Travel wise, we will probably stay 'home'. A trip to Melbourne via the Snowy Mountains and back along the coast road is in the final planning stage. The co driver wants to attend a yoga festival in the Victorian capital and I can more than fill in my time in the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula wine regions.
Tasmania in spring for a few weeks is also a possibility.
Other than that we are gearing up for the 2012 vintage which will start in February.
The vines are thriving under the damp, coolish conditions but seem to have produced a lot of leaves and not the normal fruit load. Hopefully the quality will make up for the lower yield.
It's hard to believe that this blog is over seven years old now and has had over 22,000 hits in the last 4 years. Written mainly for family and friends, the geographical diversity of readership always amazes me.
Hopefully you will all be with me for another seven...or more.