Summer in the Vineyard
Fiona Shiner, Founder
This is probably the busiest time in the vineyard as the vines are growing vigorously and we are always playing catch up. Flowering has finished and the fruit is at pea sized berries or more in most varieties. Bunch closure (when the berries enlarge sufficiently to touch each other and are about half the size they will be when picked,) is imminent.
The June weather was mixed and really quite cold at times during flowering, including hail and strong winds, which was a concern. However in general fruit set has been good on most varieties including Bacchus and Chardonnay, although the Ortega and some of the Pinots have suffered a mixed set. Crop estimates are taking place this week and will be the first time we have an idea of the potential yields for the 2020 harvest. An average of the number of bunches per vine are multiplied by an estimated bunch weight (based on historic data) and this is done for each variety at each site. Jeremy then puts all this information into a spreadsheet and ‘voila’ we have a potential tonnage.
Mixed Fruit Set in the Ortega vines
Good Fruit Set in the Chardonnay
Solaris de-leafed in the fruiting zone
Leaf stripping the vines has been completed on the East side of the canopy to expose the berries, to help with air flow and light penetration in the fruiting zone.
As we’re continuing to look at ways to build on our sustainability - next week we are excited to be trialling out a new machine for undervine mowing, strimming and cultivation.
News from the Winery
Jeremy Mount, Winemaker
The winery is very busy at the moment! Other than disgorging and labeling more of the sparkling wines which seems to be fairly continuous (they must be popular), the main operation has been the preparations for Tirage bottling (the sparkling wines from last year going in to bottle for the second fermentation-creating the fizz!). This first involves the stabilisation of the base wines (preventing crystal formation) followed by filtering, ensuring the wines are clean and clear ready for bottling.
The bottles arrived this morning and the bottling team (fanfare) will arrive in the first week of August. The bottling will take 3 days, just in time to empty the tanks ready for the fast-approaching harvest 2020…Next week we shall be doing the first thorough yield estimation, exciting times!