Here I am on the last day of spring, and we have managed to complete all our crucial spring tasks. The vines have been suckered (water shoots removed), tucked and topped. This is when the perfectionist side of me comes out. My absolute favourite thing on the farm is seeing long lines of perfectly manicured vines. Perfectly looking vines do not necessarily produce better quality wines, but I will leave that for my next blog.
The work proceeded quicker this year than the previous two years, as we managed to escape the torrential downpours of the past few years. This has led to less growth, and only needing to trim the vines once. We have also experienced a cool spring, with a couple of extremely hot days of over 35ºC (close to 100ºF). These irregular temperatures do not aid vigorous growth. And did I mention the wind.
We probably experienced more wind this spring than anyone can remember. If shoots were not tucked in on time, they would have been blown off. Wind also restricts growth as the leaves stomata close, and no photosynthesis can take place.
The only job to do before harvest is to remove unwanted bunches from overbearing vines. This helps concentrate the vines energy to help ripen the remaining bunches.
So far things look promising for a good 2010 harvest.