Archive for December, 2010

What a SPRING we have had,RAIN ,RAIN and more RAIN! It has also been much cooler than what we would normally expect.

So, quite a challenging season in the vineyard, trying to prevent fungal disease outbreaks. The vines are growing like triffids for the first time in years,that’s good to see.However yields will be down as a result of last years extremely dry spring, as that is when the fruit buds for the following year develop, and our vines were so stressed that didn’t happen.

We have made the big decision to cut out 2ha of chardonnay grapes ,a very sad but realistic thing to do.We still have more than enough for our own requirements, chardonnay grapes are not the flavour of the month, so not easy to sell!! We haven’t decide what to grow in their place, any suggestions?

There’s plenty of work in the vineyard as we are retraining vines that have suffered over the years of drought.We’ve had more WOOFERS (workers on organic farms) over the past couple of months, so they have been a great help in the vineyard with so much to do. They all seem to enjoy their stay in Canowindra, they are made very welcome and remark the contrast to time spent in larger towns and cities.We do live in a great place!!

We have spent this morning moving our pump to higher ground as we await a further deluge in the next few days ,and luckily have had enough dry time to get another anti fungal spray on the vines.

Being organic growers we are limited with what we can use to sulphur and copper,which do the job as long as you can get it on at the right time,that’s the challenge.We have also put out a few more biodynamic preparations on the vineyard, olives and a couple of paddocks, and are planning a large compost heap.

The OLIVE trees have had a great time of it ,loving the rain .Looks like we should get a reasonable crop this year, as we don’t have a lot of oil left that’s good news.

Around the farm the nut trees are enjoying the season with pistachio and almond trees laden .If we can avoid hail storms we will have a bounty of apricots, nectarines , peaches and mulberries in the next month.Also the artichoke patch has gone crazy.Any great recipes gratefully accepted!

The winery is sitting quietly waiting for the next vintage,there is some bottling to do,as we are running low on a lot of lines now.There has been a lot of the methode champanoise Pinot going out the door for Christmas celebrations,it has really developed into a great wine.

I’m looking forward to the Christmas and New Year as I’ll have all the family at home at once.Gabrielle returns first, from travels on the north coast followed by Nadja who has finished her wine science and viticulture degree ,but for a change has spent the last 6 weeks volunteering in an AIDS orphanage in Cambodia. Isabella will be home form work in Canberra, Olie(our Rwandan family member) home from his holiday research job, and Veronica will finally be home briefly from her running and studies in the USA, she hasn’t been home for a year!

I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year