Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weather data at the vineyard

Another frosty morning...

Paul did his weather data last night.
We had 705 mm of rain last year.
Our average is 775 mm. It is 10 years now that he is recording.
The driest year was 99 with 570 mm.
We had the most rain in 03, 882 mm.
Average rainy days are 80.
Average sunny days are 210. This differs significantly from normal weather bureau data because Paul counts when the Sun is actually shining :-)) even if there are some puffy clouds in the sky passing in front of it. If it's not fully overcast our grapes are smiling. So are we. On 210 days a year... :-)) AND on the 80 rainy ones also because they need that too :-)))
Dover is at Latitude 43 18, for viticulture data we look at Christchurch, New Zealand, because it is the most comparable with Lat. 43 32. It is true cool climate. With 1000 C Degree days,
LTI of 274, Heat index of 3320. (data, courtesy of Peter Salonius)

Finished pruning the Pinot Gris-s in block 3. Run out of the little ties I'm using to secure the canes to the grow wire but no problem, the Primadonnas (Gew├╝rztraminer) will be only cut but not tied until Paul installs the second grow wires for these.
We call them Primadonnas because they are soooo temperamental...for two years they had nothing on them! Zilch! We've changed the pruning and their training method and last year -at least- we managed to pick some. Boy, isn't the wine absolutely beautiful?!?!?! Not ready yet but even at this stage jumps out of the glass :-))) In your face, fills your senses...if you close your eyes you are transported to a tropical playing in the background....:-)))
They are so difficult to manage that some growers in Tassie had thrown them out. They were told if they don't behave themselves they'll end up over-grafted with some less recalcitrant species! They can bust themselves sucking up all the goodies from the soil but their fruit will be a bastard! Ha-Ha-Ha....(this is an EVIL laugh here :-))) )

I don't want to talk about the Australia Post saga...:-((( it goes on and on..and on...for weeks now. I'm sad, mad, hopeful and angry at various stages...well, I just should get used to it! We chose to live on an island. After 10 years I still can't figure it out if this is typical of ALL islands or just Tasmania????....

Ohhh, I nearly forgot Timur :-))
Being winter he doesn't have much to do...curls up with friends next to the fire... with Pavarotti
and so engrossed in summer dreams that he doesn't mind ashes from the fire dusting his chin...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

For your education and enjoyment

Winter spread it's frosty coat this morning on the grass (and Lucifer's windscreen).
I've finished pruning the Bacos and the Gamays in Carson's Garden (block 2) and now working on block 3, the young Pinot Grises and Gewurtztraminers. Nothing more to entertain you so I recommend Vintage Direct's Vintage School Online Wine Course. You can spend a few hours there as I did :-)) It is the most interesting and comprehensive wine education I have come across on the net so far...
Happy reading! :-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Some of Paul's work

Not much happening apart from the pruning so I share with you some photos of Paul's work.
Miniatures made for a Canadian exhibition
Interestingly these were not sold at the exhibition, came home and then traveled back to Canada with their new owner after he found them in Finewoodcraft Gallery in Pemberton :-)
She is gracing the guest bedroom.
My favourite Madonna.
Bowls for sale

The sisters were gifts to our guests
Carved relief
Some of his signature jewelery boxes

and some furniture

Flat Timur
He is NOT made out of wood :-))) not yet...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Just some winter photos

Candy haven't seen snow before so we had to drive up to the Hartz mountain to find some :-) These are her photos:
The Big Tree Butt
A waterfall
Misty hills
We cooked stuffed cabbages for dinner
Possum kitty and
duckies enjoying a bit of sunshine...
...Fergus also...
...and Timur as a matter of course :-)
It is his DUTY to enjoy himself :-)))

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Call me what you want but I think our wine has a strong umami!
If you haven't heard about umami yet, don't despair, grab the opportunity I'm presenting to discover it :-)
In one sentence, it is the fifth taste after sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Longer explanation here.
Our wines are consistently characterised as savoury and I just had an Eureka moment :-)) This is it! It is umami!
St Imre fans describe it as "I just can't stop drinking it", "mmm...mmm I want another glass", tz-tz-tz...this goes well with any food I've paired it", "ahhh... this is moreish", "delicious", "different", "this is the best I've tried EVER", "I just had to come in to buy again"...
Paul describes it as minimal intervention winemaking. The reflection of the true character of the fruit and terroir. Our dry (not irrigated) vineyard, the use of only natural elements (Copper and Sulphur) to control diseases. Hand picked grapes destemmed and crushed, inoculated with noble yeasts. Wine fermented in open wooden vats or food-grade plastic and glass. No fining and filtering only once before bottling or not filtered at all. Aged in -exclusively- old barrels to prevent the oak taste overpowering the fruit. Minimum quantities of preservative or no preservative at all if the year permits.
Folks, I describe it as having umami.
You can read more about it here and here
and here and here .