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Our News

Vineyard News - April 2019

Edwina Yeates

Vine Leaves Paint a Perfect Picture

Art masterpieces share a commonality – magnificent use of light by their painters. With vineyards it is how long the leaves last after harvest that reveal their true masters. Vines that hang on to their leaves long after harvest reflect superior management, identifying the viticultural elite around Mudgee.

The root systems of vines work hard to establish leaf early in the season. The leaves return the favour by photosynthesising sugars that help ripen the fruit. Once the fruit is harvested, the carbohydrate enriched leaves are left scratching their heads so the root system recalls leftover scraps and stores them over winter. It takes time though and if there are lots of leaves, there is a lot of work to do.

The nutritional repository accumulated in Autumn turbo charges the buds in late September as the first new shoots arrive. One cycle ends and a new one begins, each mutually dependent on the other. Now you know what “turning over a new leaf” means!

This image of our vineyard shows our Shiraz vines 7 weeks post harvest in full leaf. It is a good omen for next years crop. The line of thick compost under the canopy helps.


Harvest Report 2019

Edwina Yeates

House prices in Australia have been freefalling for months but have you ever heard a real estate agent say they are “up the putty”? Same story with winemakers in Mudgee since 2015 – our run of wine vintages has been spectacular!  

Well in the case of this year (taking you back to late February/March), it is ever so slightly exaggerated because it was hot, damn hot. Windy too! The heat didn’t worry the vines but keeping water up to them certainly worried many vignerons. A lush, green canopy is the biological equivalent of a parasol. Leafy vines produced more shade and less sunburn. 

However, this year higher day and night temps far exceeded historical records. Hail also battered leaves and bruised fruit in distinct paths around the region. Fruit was dropped from badly affected vines because of potential sunburn. Thankfully, hail-damaged fruit shrivelled and dropped off, and the vineyard, now in its 6th year of organic management, survived well despite some of the obstacles thrown at it.

While many producers in the region (and beyond) reported lower yields than usual, we were lucky to find our yield on par with 2018 and with fruit of good colour and flavour. It is too soon to judge quality, but the early signs are good.  

One day soon we expect bad things to happen, but so far the vineyard is showing extraordinary resilience. We have been lucky; sadly others have not had such good fortune.

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