Vintage Report 2017

Published on August 25, 2017

One of our 100 year old trees blown over
Enough water for summer

Again we received well above average rainfall during winter and spring. One of the many east coast lows dumped more than 70mm of rain during bud break.
Spring again was very windy, but not as bad as in South Australia where several power pylons were blown over and power failed in large areas.

spring growth
pruning in the wet vineyard

Wet weather persisted into summer and temperatures were well below our average. Vines and wildlife thrived more than ever – the wallabies tried to help with vine management, but proved very poor viticulturalists, mainly eating the wrong shoots. The possums in the meantime tried to put us out of house and shed so they could find a dry place to sleep.

The last days of December finally gave us some warm weather, with a week of top temperatures in the low thirties.

One of our 100 year old trees blown over
Brushtail Possum climbing the window frame trying to break and enter?
Sacred Ibis visited nearly every day
Ringtail Possum found a dry spot in the shed - it made itself a lovely twig nest later
Baby birds in the nest of Jacky Winter
Teaching baby about chicken grain, apples and vegetables, very healthy for baby.
One of our 100 year old trees blown over
A dragonfly species we haven't seen before
Sacred Ibis visited nearly every day
Willy Wagtail nest in the vines. We never had so many, and welcome Willy!
Baby birds in the nest of Jacky Winter
Perfect food for wallabies- if only they would learn which shoots to eat.
One of our 100 year old trees blown over
vigorous growth
Sacred Ibis visited nearly every day
tamed with foliage wires
Baby birds in the nest of Jacky Winter
and tirimmed
echidnas love the vineyard
to let sun and air into the vines
showers and rain all spring and summer
Bottlebrush flowering in November
rampant vine growth
all still lush and green in December
vineyard in summer
THE DAM WAS STILL FULL

The following weeks stayed cool compared to other years, but the constant rain stopped in mid December and everything dried off quickly.

vineyard in summer
BUT THREE WEEKS LATER....

Lush growth followed by very dry conditions always produces the highest fire danger. We had our new strike unit on constant standby, but fortunately these stinking hot and windy 40+ degree days didn’t happen.

rooster inspecting Cabernet Sauvignon
high dry grass means high firedanger
first into the grapes
our firefighting strike unit on constant standby
vintage began 2 weeks late
bird nets going on

Taking off the bird nets for vintage has sometimes its moments. The problem is not to find a Red-bellied black snake caught in the net; and not the cutting it out so no netting remains on it; it is the releasing it unharmed and unharmed-by that is the challenge. As it was the third one this year we were practiced and had all the tools ready. Still....step back quickly!

 
rooster inspecting Cabernet Sauvignon
vintage is here:
first into the grapes
Pinot noir
vintage began 2 weeks late
finishing for the day

Vintage started in early March, and with temperatures fluctuating madly, but generally above average. The Pinot noir came in quickly, in very good condition and with good ripeness.

picking grapes
 
grapes
 
picking grapes
 

Merlot immediately followed and Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon were picked in the first week or April, roughly a month earlier than usual. All the grapes were in very good condition and showed perfect ripeness.
One of the good vintages indeed! Very peaceful, busy but without stress.

vineyard in summer