Vineyard Update: The Glory of Spring

A late budburst, then a flying start.

After the winter months, the pruned and dormant vines look for all intents dead. Brown, hard and dry it’s difficult to imagine the explosion of growth that occurs once the buds break through. Budburst was almost a month later than usual this year; it was early October before we saw any movement, but then -WOW. Away they went.

The last half of Winter and the first two months of Spring have been dryer and warmer than usual. The last couple of weeks of November have seen some large rainfall and humid conditions. We have received less than others in the Heathcote region, but the monsoon troughs and the La Nina in the Pacific are keeping everybody guessing about the outlook for summer.

We have been busy lifting the training wires to open the vines up to the sun and the wind and to make tractor access easier.

A new clone

Planted in 2014, our new vineyard is now into it’s third year and we are looking forward to our first harvest from the new clone. The R6WV28 Shiraz clone is from a selection of Tahbilk vines. It is romantically named from its location R6WV28 (Row 6 West Vine 28). It is known for its early ripening, low yield, lively palate, soft plush tannins, a touch of peppermint and cedar and deep colour.

Looking Ahead

Currently we have a vintage in miniature. The flowers have set and tiny berries speak of what might be. We have missed most of the storms and humidity. Hope and expectation must be matched by vigilance – weed control, vine training, prevention of mould and mildew. Meanwhile we entertain ourselves with hopes of a great vintage and watching the delightful Jane Bunn’s long-range weather forecasts.

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