As always, this is an important time of year in the development of the vineyard, here is a summary of the current status:
Vine Growth & Crop – end June 2015 :
Growth is moving quickly despite the recent cooler than average temperatures (apart from today 1st July).
The 2015 season is now 14 days later than 2014. The vines have only just started flowering at the beginning of this week (29th June) whereas flowering started in mid-June in 2014.
Chardonnay has a moderately lighter crop than 2014, so will ripen well. The Hillside has been allocated for a still wine, and the team are currently considering a light thinning of the fruit here. This decision would not be made until after flowering.
The minimally pruned vines will be thinned out with the harvesting machine, and we will also consider doing the same with the Seyval Blanc as this has another very heavy crop, these decisions will be made after flowering. The Pinot Noir is holding a heavy crop this year – possibly more so than 2014. Again, a decision regarding the yield level will be made after flowering has completed.
Sauvignon Blanc will also be closely monitored with regard to crop load versus quality, and similar decisions made.
The remaining varieties Bacchus, Muller Thurgau, Dornfelder, Ortega, Pinot Meunier, Solaris, Rondo are all making good progress.
The vines planted in 2013 and 2014 are looking stronger every week. They were cut back to form only a trunk this year. They carry 4 shoots and 6 – 8 bunches. The lighter burden of shoots and fruit effectively allows the vines a further year of establishment, whilst taking a light crop at the same time.