Another early start today on the vineyard here in the Swan Valley.
James is in charge of the vineyard and he likes to start early, it is a lot cooler, but he’s a bit crazy…his alarm goes off at about 4am!!!
Last week we bottled the red wines, it took a couple of days, and then the guys felt it!
Even though tired and still somewhat sore from the previous day, once your out there the vineyard is the best place to be!
The key is making sure the vines are protected with adequate sprays. The vines grow quickly and the bunches are beginning to set. Gosh, the year goes quick.
The unwanted shoots need to be removed, it is a very laborious task; you are constantly bending . Then the berries start to colour up.
Then we begin in the vines and if any of us once suffered arachnophobia, it has well and truly passed as the spiders grow as fast as the vines this time of year. Allegedly the sign of a healthy vineyard but a spider on the neck, still freaks everyone out.
The other thing is the irritation..I mean irrigation, we test and monitor it constantly. At Upper Reach we minimally irrigate, just enough to stop the vines from stressing out. The watering isn’t critical yet, but will become more so as the weather warms up.
So the days are tough, tiring and can be uncomfortably hot, but before we know it, it’ll be vintage and we’ll be picking again! It sounds obvious but living and working on a vineyard, really means that you live by the seasons.
The vineyard is the best place to be, especially between 5 and 11…and great to grow and then make such a variety of lovely wines.