Monday, August 14, 2017

Winter Vineyard and Farm Work

We are nearly ready for vintage 2018 to begin.
It's been a busy few weeks.
The first job was pruning and burning off the cuttings. The latter was combined with our usual winter fallen timber clean up burn offs around the property so we saved a bit of time there.
The Pinot Noir block needed no additional work.
Raising the netting in the Tempranillo/Semillon block had to be finished and luckily Stirls was on hand to help with that as well as reset a couple of strainer posts ie. straightening and stay replacement.
The Cabernet Sauvignon block is now 20 odd years old and the infrastructure is showing its age a little.
One strainer post was completely broken off at ground level and the stump had to be dug out and the strainer replaced. Other strainers had moved loosening wires. These had to be straightened, stays replaced and wires tensioned.
Thankfully the weather has been good apart from a few days of strong westerly winds. It has been an unseasonably warm and dry winter so it was pretty comfortable doing all the hard labour.
The only major job left is net mending which is not too urgent.
We expect bud burst in the early varieties to begin in a few weeks. As the years pass, this gets earlier and earlier. I think the difference now to when I first planted is about three to four weeks. Climate change?
The burn offs went without a hitch. These are quite big fires and you have to monitor the weather forecasts closely. With it being so dry you don't want the wind to get up half way through a burn and set the neighbourhood on fire. Hazard reduction burns that get away can cause a lot of problems.
Our spray 'attack' on the dreaded tussock weed on the south side of the creeks continues. This is the second year. We can see progress is being made but it is a laborious process.

In winter these weeds take some time to yellow off and die due to the cooler weather so after a while it's difficult to know where you have been in a densely infested area. So the process is slow.
Hopefully it can be finished this year and a 'mop up' operation on any regrowth done in autumn next year.
Results of a similar program on the north side of the creek have been extremely rewarding. 

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