By Chloe Earl, senior winemaker

Most of the hard work in the vineyard has been done in preparation for the vintage. We are now watching the weather and counting down the days until we pick the first grapes. The most important things to keep an eye on are the vine balance with canopy growth and making sure the vines are disease-free.

 

As with many regions this year, winter and spring have been drier than normal, making our biggest challenge dealing with dry conditions. We have to ensure the vines have sufficient water from irrigation to grow adequate canopy. The canopy (or leaves) are required to ripen the fruit through photosynthesis and then to shade the fruit to protect it from sun damage and allow for even ripening.

 

We need the correct balance based on the season to allow shading of fruit and also airflow to reduce disease risk. In warmer years, we will push the vines for more canopy growth to protect the fruit from sunburn and, in cooler years, aim for less growth to increase the amount of sunlight that gets through and to help reduce the risk of disease.

 

So, as we near the vintage period, we are looking forward to a successful harvest across our vineyards with the fruit in great condition and perfect weather.