Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Vineyard update: making hay while the sun shines

A midsummer update from Colin Ross, our estate manager:

Midsummer in the vineyards at Seresin Estate and we have just cut and gathered our hay crop. Over 2000 small bales have been cut from our meadows and areas surrounding the vines. About 200 bales will be used as supplementary feed for our animals, with the balance forming a vital ingredient for our compost making. 

Compost is the primary form of adding balanced nutrition to our land. It is comprised of 25% grape waste, 25% hay, 25% wood-chips from our willow trees, 20% mulched woody weeds and grasses, and the balance being manure from our own herd of cows.

After the summer solstice our vines' canopies have almost reached their full height. After weeks of shoot-thinning and wire lifting, we have just begun hand leaf plucking. The aim is to give the grapes as much ventilation as possible so that they can fully ripen, with minimal chance of late season bunch rot. It is also important to leave a protective layer of leaf to provide shelter from the harsh sun and any rain that falls.

Vintage 2014 is slightly ahead of normal and, with wonderful growing conditions, we have vibrant healthy canopies and an excellent crop. It is still too early to make a prediction as to the vintage's final outcome, but at this stage all the elements are in place for the harvest of some wonderful fruit.

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