Friday, October 22, 2010

Horses Of Course

It's the time of year when our three vineyards receive their annual application of of Biodynamic Preparation 500. Last week, we hand applied 500 to our Raupo Creek vineyard.

Staff hand-stirring Preparation 500 for spraying on our Raupo Creek Vineyard.

Our Estate Manager Colin Ross took a short video of the staff standing at the top of the hill ready to spread the preparation over the Pinot Noir vines.

And yesterday it was the Home Vineyard's turn; using both staff and our one horsepower tractor, Bill.
Six year old Bill and his brother Tom are Seresin's newest additions. They came to us six weeks ago, and have been being trained by Phil Amberger. Phil and his brother Ron are shown here driving the horse sprayer.

Bill and Tom pull our specially designed Seresin Bertolini Horse Drawn Sprayer, which will spray up to 30 hectares of our Home Vineyard with Biodynamic Preparations and Compost Tea this year.

Monday, October 18, 2010

WWOOFing at Seresin

Anna with Bill and Tom, our two clydesdale horses.

We were lucky enough to have Anna Gual, a hardworking WWOOFer from Spain, with us for several weeks recently. Anna says 'Seresin is a place that I would like to spent at least one year of my life. Not only for knowledge and to learn, but also for all of you who work on the farm. I think you form a good team and that makes it all work well.'

Anna bringing Olga in for milking.

Thank you Anna for all your hard work!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vine Life - Bud Burst

Last week our Semillon vine reached the Bud Burst stage. This is when the vine leaves dormancy - the sap starts to flow through the vine, the hard scales that have protected the tiny buds all winter peel back and let the vine really start to take off. It's a sure sign Spring has arrived!

And just a week later, the first leaves have started to unfold.

At the moment we are spraying compost tea across our entire estate, and this week the Home vineyard and the Semillon block got a turn.
Spraying compost tea helps create a culture of diverse biology on the vines and in the soil. This helps break down the canes (the pruned wood from last years vine growth) that we mulched into the soil under the vines through Winter. This biology also consumes any powdery mildew spores which are present on the vines from last year, and essentially does a big Spring clean of the vines and soil. This means we can delay spraying sulphur across the estate, because this biology is doing some of the cleaning up that sulphur would otherwise do. This Semillon block is completely sulphur free, so it's particularly important there is a strong, healthy environment to begin the growing season with.
The diverse biology that compost tea encourages also helps keep all the biology in check. Any disease cells present, like botrytis or powdery mildew, have to compete with all the beneficial bacteria and fungi. This maintains a balance in the biology and makes it very difficult for any particular species to get out of control.

Our compost tea also contains some biodynamic preparation 507 in it this time of year, to help protect the vulnerable new buds from frost damage. 507 is made with Valerian, a plant which has properties which excite bacteria - essentially making them move around and generate a small amount of warmth around the buds.