HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
Early start to the fire season in the surrounding area has given us a bit of concern; smoke taint can affect the vines even at flowering stage. We have had good winds in the evening to move the smoke along, so we will be OK. In general, you cannot be certain of any taint until the wine is made, so it can be a long wait for some to ascertain the impact to vines that have been exposed to direct fires and smoke. December is berry formation, flowering has nearly finished and soon the young berries will start developing. We have lifted all the canopy wires, so that the vines are sitting up nice and straight. This gives the foliage and fruit good airflow and sunlight; next will be the first of about 3-4 canopy trims until the nets go on. A balanced ratio of fruit to canopy is required to ensure good berry size and sugar levels. Normally, we would start watering in December, but as we have had such a long wet winter/spring, it will be unlikely we will be doing this soon, although one is constantly monitoring all areas of the vines/vineyard.
December 2016 Newsletter