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:

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