Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This week

There was enough rain for a whole month now! We need a bit of sunshine to get on with the works.
Paul and Fumi are pulling out the grow wires in block 1. Not much left to do now but I have to get another roll as they've run out again :-)
We have done a bit of labeling ... until we also run out of supply. Eszter is printing the next batch of back labels. Very organized we are...It's really hectic here this time of the year even without building a cellardoor and new house :-)
Serra is taking off the new shoots which grew since last time we de-budded and I'm spraying the weeds everywhere I find them.
Not all work though :-) The young ones were out hiking
and also took a bunch of photos from our backyard. Here is Adamson's Peak, Dover's own Mount Fuji in the rays of the setting Sun.
They seem to be fascinated by what I'm cooking :-) so some dishes make it to the internet for you to join around our table. Osso Bucco with semolina , lamb shank with cabbages , sour cherry cake
The new brood of duckies are growing but at 2 days old it's hard to step up to the nest :-))
And last for today, Possum Kitty said: Good By

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shoot thinning

I've started thinning the shoots in block 2. This year it is necessary to do it. In other years, leaf plucking -later in the season- usually is enough to open up the canopy to sunlight, but this year they are pushing out many unproductive shoots from the bases of the spurs. This would make the canopy more prone to diseases and would shade the fruit, delaying ripening. It's a long, tedious job I'm not looking forward to -it takes me 2 hours to do a short row- but hey...we are making quality wines here ! :-) This job done is one of the differences what distinguishes us from the run-of-the-mill, big company, bottle shop wines.
Here they are before:
and after thinning:
Sometimes I see on the customer face that he/she was expecting our prices to be cheaper (and I'm talking here not just about us but nearly all of the Tasmanian wine producers). Please ask "why?" I'm glad to explain all the work we do here, for you to understand why we can't sell a bottle for 5 $ :-) We have around 8500 grapes in about 100 rows ...just the shoot thinning takes 2 hours each row...we planted them into the nursery... planted them out into the rows... squatted/bent down to every one -twice per year- for 3 years to prune, train/tie to the wire, select shoots, protect and nurture...when they are up on the grow wire we prune, kill the weeds, spry, de-bud the trunks, thin the shoots, put up the 3 sets of foliage wires at different times (we have about 40 Km ! of foliage wire), de-bud the trunks again, weed kill again, leaf pluck, spray -for the 4-th time- again, spread out the nets, pick the grapes and take off the nets... and I'm sure I've left out some other jobs we do but I can't recall now :-)) And this is only the vineyard part :-) The work in the winery is another page in our books...
And here is one of the result:
Fumi from Japan is helping with installing the foliage wires and he finished punching in the nails in the floor before sending and oiling.
Serra from Taiwan painted the skirting boards
At the cellardoor Jim, the electrician, is wiring in the lights and power points. The picture rails are up, the Plum Pond is filling nicely
the Native Hens introduced their new brood
All 4 chicks are grown and well :-) and we visited Inverawe gardens in Margate. Here are some pics of their flowers:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some progress

  • the lights arrived from Melbourne, we picked them up and this week we'll have the electrician to wire them in.
  • Chose the sinks for the kitchen, decided on the dishwasher, bought the toilet, ordered the tiles
  • trimmings around the ceiling, doors and windows are done
  • Serra form Hong Kong arrived and she is helping with all this varnishing, painting, oiling...
  • planted out the gherkin seedlings
  • new lot of ducklings hatching
  • Paul remodeled the Plum Pond. Again! If it'll still leak I'll SCREAM! :-))))
  • new phone finally working!
  • Jonathan shot Eszter...with the new camera...(what were you thinking?? :-))) )

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Some of Sara's pics

Sara from Canada left yesterday and she sent some pics she took while here.
Our animals:

The vineyard, winery, wines and Sara working:

Far South scenery:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Debudding and dumpling making

All week we were working on de-budding the trunks of the grapes. It's going well, not much left to finish. Tracy helped and while she was working in block 4 the neighbors' horses came over and asked for some 'better grass' :-)
We had nightly cooking lessons, here we're making chinese dumplings
and the result...
She left for Melbourne to fly out home next week and Sara arrived from Canada.
We buried Timur on the hill at the Robinia forest. He is sleeping with his teddies and bunnies, his soul watching over us, protecting us to eternity...I still cry every day...
But life goes on......the native hens hatched 4 fluffy balls of chicks. It's their first brood, they were quiet successful. 2 of our hens and 3 ducks are still sitting on eggs.
We bought the timber for the under-windows shelves and the pendant lamps.
Have a happier weekend then we have and give a pat on its boofy head if you have a dog...