Misha’s Vineyard Viticulture Update from Rich & Robin!

Rich Williams
Rich Williams
Good progress was made with bud rubbing and with the additional help of the Vanuatuan crew we’re now into bunch removal. We’re removing bunches from the short shoots starting first in the Riesling where there are quite a few 3rd and 4th bunches mainly on the less vigorous parts and we’ve also needed to do a partial lateral think through the centre of the block in order to see into the interior. The vines are coming up really well and putting our shoot/fruit ration back into balance. So far there are some quite small bunches in places and so we’re expecting lighter crops across the board this season. Rich..

Robin Dicey
Robin Dicey

Wind effects. The last few reports seem to have been an unending litany of woe concerning weather related opprobrium, recently including a degree of pluviality as well. The Pinot Gris in the Dress Circle has particularly seen the impact of the wind and so we’ve had to remove more bunches off short canes than usual – but it’s what is needed. Once again there is a big difference in sheltered versus unsheltered rows. At this stage we are performing a bunch removal exercise and not a thinning exercise. We would look further into establishing more planting shelter. The good news was today there was no wind and it was a glorious morning!
• The vines up on the Top Block are looking in good shape, if a bit small, which is no bad thing.
• The hoped-for and expected growth spurt in the young vines has not really eventuated – at least not yet. It may still come.
• The evening-up of the bunches through removal of the shoulders has gone pretty well, and the crop should come in a lot a more uniform condition.

The difficulties of the season with the relentless winds are making it tough for the vines. But against all this bunch conformation looks excellent. Since we had virtually no ‘stuck’ caps, fruit set has been good and berry shatter virtually non-existent. The result is that we are seeing bunch closure with berries much smaller than usual. If the seeds have been well fertilized this could lead to some interesting times in a few weeks as the berries achieve their optimum size. Robin

Notes to decipher Robin’s report!
Opprobrium: 1. the disgrace or the reproach incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; infamy.
Pluviality: 1. of or pertaining to rain, esp. much rain; rainy.