They have discovered that the grapes are ripening and are patrolling the netting looking for a way in.
Some have been successful.
It is a constant job monitoring the nets for holes.
Kangaroos 'visiting' at night pull down shoots protruding through the nets (they like the young leaves) and inevitably tear holes with their sharply clawed feet. Just what the birds, mainly currawongs, are looking for.
So am mending and shooing! (yes, shooing, not shooting)
Due to the dry weather the birds' natural feed is not readily available so they have turned to the man made. Commercial vineyards in the area as well as other regions eg. Hunter Valley, have reported increased bird and flying fox activity this year.
I had planned to harvest the Semillon this weekend but it's raining today and forecast similarly for tomorrow.
Bad news for us but good news for the people just to the west of us up over the mountains where devastating bush fires have destroyed a lot of property.
Meanwhile 'the lab' has been restocked with the necessary chemicals and organized and the wine making equipment checked that it is in working order.
Next job will be to clean all the buckets pre picking.
Then I need to sterilize the crusher, press, fermenter and a tank. This is done generally between picking and processing.
Monday might be the day it all starts.
I tested the Pinot Noir again and recorded almost the same result as reported in Vintage Update 4 so am confidant it is right. Will look at it and the Tempranillo again late next week.