Monthly Archives: November 2013

Vineyard Update

November 21, 2013

Now, one only has to take one look at the news, to see we’ve all been rudely awakened from our winter slumber and dragged kicking and screaming and plonked straight into, what seems, the summer from hell.  What happened to our calm, gentle awakening, slowly peeling off the winter layers and gently exposing our lily white skin to the warming Spring weather?  I know not!

But, just like us, the rapidly escalating temperatures, has also awoken our vineyard from its dormancy, and the amazing cycle to produce our gorgeous berries has begun.

The first week of September heralded budburst into our vineyard.  Slightly earlier than normal due to the rapid daily increase in temperature.  Budburst means our vines awoke and tiny buds produced their first shoots.  These shoots have grown – obtaining energy from the carbohydrate stored in the roots and wood of the vine from the last growth cycle – and are now producing leaves at an amazing rate of knots. These leaves will now take over the energy production, via photosynthesis, for the vines to keep growing. Seemingly they grow before your eyes… Did you know shoots can grow an average of 3cm in a day!

Approximately 4 weeks after budburst, again quite early, our vines started flowering.  To the untrained eye, these flowers can look quite like tiny berries forming.  But they need, pollinating and fertilising before they produce our luscious berries.  Only 30 – 60 % of the flowers will be fertilised, resulting in berries, the rest will drop to the ground.  Lots of things can affect this fertilisation.  We’re most worried about unusually high temperatures and extreme winds.  These could have a great impact, reducing next year’s crop significantly.  The joys of relying on Mother Nature!

Once fertilised, we have what we call fruit set.  We then await warm, calm weather conditions to ripen this fruit ready for harvest.

If you’re interested in following what’s happening in the vineyard make sure you like us on facebook. I’m following our Verdelho block and will post pictures as significant changes are happening!