Finally, another blog from all of us at Tarrahill now that my computer is talking to me again. What a busy year in 2014: selling the family home, moving to the farm, a bit of travelling and plenty of work in the winery and vineyard. The wines are developing well and we are very pleased to have very good recent reviews of them, including the 2011 chardonnay. ( more in a post from Jonathan soon).
January has been delightfully cool which has made the vineyard work very pleasant. Radio national is wonderful and makes the hours fly. Last week I even thought that we were in autumn already. However, the next few weeks of hot dry weather may change my mind!
The young vines have grown well this year and have produced a little fruit which we are interested to sample. We will mulch under them with the spent hay rounds to help increase organic matter in the root zones.
It is netting time again, probably my least favourite job. We never seem to remember how to do it from one year to the next and it always takes twice as long as you think.
We have nearly full veraison ( when the grapes start to colour and ripen) and the 3 main reds are all developing at a similar rate which is a little unusual: normally the cabernet would lag well behind the pinot and shiraz.
The pinot is developing well and showing its medium, tight bunches.
The shiraz has bigger but more open bunches.
The cabernet is somewhere in between.
Due to the prolonged dry spell we have been watering, particularly the young vines, but with the hot weather approaching, the whole vineyard is getting something. This drops the dam levels down considerably so we will hope for a good autumn break.
We have seen some changes around the winery over the summer and now have a new machinery shed made from two shipping containers spanned by a large polytunnel, magically put together by our obliging neighbors. I love it because I can now put all the kids stuff into a container and forget about it!
The sheep, our little lawnmowers, are confined to the paddocks until after vintage.
The gumnuts in the spotted gums bring flocks of noisy but characterful gang-gang cockatoos.
We have lots of additional farm produce this year.
Wild blackberries that make a wonderful breakfast snack, fruits in the orchard including my first Gravenstein apples, and the very wild but otherwise fruitful veggie gardens.
So, here we are at the start, or end, of another vintage. Picking will only be weeks away now that the heat has arrived. Enjoy the rest of the summer and we will look forward to sharing the fruits of our labours with you all later in the year.
Best wishes to all,