The pre-cursor to harvest, Summer is one of the busiest times of year on all sides of the business. As the tourists flock to the Cellar Door & Cafe, our vineyard team is busy with canopy management and trimming whilst our winery team clears space for this vintage to come in. It is all go, go, go.
It is arguably one of the most important times of the year as fundamentally what happens now determines what will happen for the rest of the year. As soon as the vines begin to awake from their slumber we need to manage their growth and development. Most importantly we want to encourage the vines to flower and come to berry as evenly as possible and on time to ensure the grapes ripen. We help them along a little by leaf plucking, ensuring they have enough sunlight and air to reduce the risk of any diseases as well as trying to monitor any pests as best we can for an organic vineyard.
From this we can then begin to predict the yield from the vines and therefore what this vintage will potentially look like. This is crucial for the successful planning of harvest, determining how many cellar hands are required, how much vessel space is needed and crucially when it will all kick off. The earlier any problems are spotted the easier they are to solve or to plan for.
But after all the prep, all the planning, there is also the undeniable, unpredictability of the most fickle element to growing grapes...the weather.
We can only cross our fingers.
Here's to the 2019 Vintage! May it be a fruitful one!