Our thoughts go out to those wineries and vineyards that have been impacted by the bush fires that have ravaged parts of Victoria, SA and NSW. Outside of the fires themselves there is also the potential for smoke haze to negatively influence fruit quality. We have been blessed to have been spared on both counts and are looking forward to reaching harvest with our fruit in good condition. To learn more about the fire impact in our article: “Bushfires and the impact on grape growing”
It has been a very interesting season so far, one with many ups and downs.
In late spring we suffered two frost events, followed two weeks later by 43 degree heat and then had hail hit the Pogue Vineyard. Luckily the weather calmed down, and we started to get our normal settled weather. Albeit hot and dry, but this is perfect for growing grapes.
We have seen good canopy growth, a fantastic flowering which in turn has given the vineyards a good crop in the areas not affected by the frosts. However, there is still a little way to go until we hand over the grapes to the winemakers to do their magic.
We have been continually trying to better our skills in the vineyard by trying new techniques or polishing the old. This summer we have concentrated on doing less tractor passes through each of the vineyard rows. This has many benefits, like less diesel (a lower carbon footprint), less compaction of the soil, and with less mowing of the rows, it has allowed the grasses to seed attracting spiders and beneficial wasps. So, if you see the grass longer than it has been in the past when you come for a visit – that is the reason.
This past spring saw more grafting of our current plantings, giving us better clones. We also started grafting existing vines to Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. These vines and grafting won’t deliver any fruit until vintage 2023, but the clones that have been chosen look fantastic, and I think will only add to the great wines that Tahbilk already produces.
The vineyard staff have been busy over the past 6 months improving our irrigation, by replacing the old irrigation tube to better deliver water to the vines at a better rate without wasting water. We have also been spreading compost and straw under-vine to increase soil organic matter and increase our water holding capacity. This will enable us to water less while still keeping the vines happy and healthy.
We look forward to updating you on the progress of harvest through the vintage period – to stay up to date please see our socials: