New vintage takes off!
The vines this year have come out of the blocks fast, really fast. Exceptional growth and impressive bunch structures signal a bountiful crop in what has so far been ideal weather conditions with no hint of disease.
Composting to smother vine competitors
Controlling grass growth in an organic vineyard is tough going as they compete aggressively for water. Our neighbours use a chemical called sprayseed. It is a cheap quick and easy way to kill grass under the canopy. The organic options are limited to (1) mattock & elbow grease (2) ploughing (3) compost or mulch. We have chosen the latter in the hope of nourishing the vines as well as taming the worst offending grass – paspalum. It is now 3 weeks since we have applied compost under-vine and both the vines and the paspalum are both doing well! At this stage the strategy to improve our soil organic matter and smother the offender grass has been only half right. Watch this space!
The first white variety planted on the vineyard
The Albariño grapes planted 4 weeks ago are doing well despite a spell of hot weather. They are surrounded by protective guards that helps channel growth up to the fruiting wire. Not all shoots are well behaved though - we have the odd escapee as evidenced by the shoot in the image below that saw a quicker route to sunlight closer to home. Others have struggled despite frequent watering. On the whole though, things are looking good.
have you heard of Albariño?
Albariño (Spain) or Alvarinho (Portugal) is a white, Riesling related clone grown in the Galicia and Vino Verde regions of these two countries. A Spanish source reveals the wines are “pale golden lemon, they are all crisp, elegant and fresh. These wines are bone-dry and aromatic, packed with flavors of white peach, apricot, melon, pineapple, mango and honeysuckle. They share good natural acidity, have mineral overtones, and are medium bodied with moderate alcohol (12%)”. The Portuguese wines taste wonderful so we thought we would give our 16 hectares of red wines something white to snuggle up to.