Vintage Report 2017

Published on August 25, 2017

full dam
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.

pruned and unpruned vines
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.

brushtail possum
Brushtail Possum climbing the window frame trying to break and enter?
ringtail possum
Ringtail Possum found a dry spot in the shed - it made itself a lovely twig nest later
brushtail possum with juvenile
Teaching baby about chicken grain, apples and vegetables, very healthy for baby.
A dragonfly species we haven't seen before
birdnest with eggs
Willy Wagtail nest in the vines. We never had so many, and welcome Willy!
Perfect food for wallabies- if only they would learn which shoots to eat.
grape vines
vigorous growth
lifting foliage wires
tamed with foliage wires
trained vines
and tirimmed
trained vines
to let sun and air into the vines
flowering bottlebrushes
Bottlebrush flowering in November
vienyard in summer
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

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.

dry grass
high dry grass means high firedanger
fire fighting unit
our firefighting strike unit on constant standby
dry paddock
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!

picking grapes
vintage is here:
picking grapes
Pinot noir
pickers finishing for the day
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
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 autumn