Meet our new Winemaker!

A great presentation at Josef Chromy Wines today, ed headed by General Manager Jeremy Dineen. The purpose was to gather growers contracted to Josef Chromy Wines, for sale including those who have their own labels.

The season was explained comparatively and advice provided as to what we needed to do to prepare for the 2016/17 season. A very good marketing presentation was given by Dr. Larry Lockshin. He is Professor of Wine Marketing and Head of the School of Marketing at the University of South Australia.

The Seminar was a great start to a new winemaker -client relationship, although Jeremy was well involved with Providence when he was working for Andrew Hood at Hood Wines in Cambridge.  The relationship is renewed!

Jeremy discusses price points for Chardonnay

Jeremy discusses performance of white varietals in the market

Growers taste samples of their 2016 aromatics

Growers taste samples of their 2016 aromatics

Jeremy with Dr Larry Lockshin at the Growers Seminar

Jeremy with Dr Larry Lockshin at the Growers Seminar

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Pinot Noir or Cab Sav with Chinese Duck ?

Brett Snelson, winemaker with One Day Estate and Ainsworth & Snelson, talked Duckmasters Ron Leslie and Roy Moorfield into convening a Duck Crawl where two Cabernets were included in the into the usually exclusive Noir line-up.  Again, three restaurants were involved, all in Little Burke Street:  Bamboo House, Tea House and Shark Fin House. As usual the fare was fantastic, and so were the wines, which included our 2011 Providence Pinot Noir.  At Shark Fin House we were treated to two Pinots (Providence and One Day Wild) and two Cabernets: 2010 Dalwhinnie and 2013 Ainsworth & Snelson’s Jakob’s Black Magic.  Both cabernets were excellent and swayed the vote, but not enough to overwhelm the Pinot vote.

At the Tea House, we were treated to some pre-release wines from Coldstream Hills: the 2015 Esplanade, Dear Farm, and Hazeldine, which gave us an idea of the effects of altitude in Yarra Valley vineyards.  Much thanks to Ian Thom from Treasury Wine Estates.

Post Duck Crawl gathered at "Madame Brussels"

Post Duck Crawl gathered at “Madame Brussels”

And much thanks to Roy Moorfield and Ron Leslie for keeping the Duck Crawls going, now for over twenty years.  If you are interested in attending one of these events, contact Ron Leslie at ronaldml@bigpond.com.

The "One Day Estate" team, Brett Snelson and Allan Day with Duckmaster Ron Leslie

The “One Day Estate” team, Brett Snelson and Allan Day with Duckmaster Ron Leslie

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Officer in charge of Weed Control (and Lieutenants)

Vineyard patrol

Vineyard patrol

I can’t remember if this photo has ever appeared on my website before but it shows the relationship that Gary the Goat has developed with the native hens (aka “Turbo-chooks).  Since this photo was taken there has been a new generation and the same relationship applies.  Providence is such a peaceful place!

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Vintage – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

The weekend went well.  Launceston Grammar Music School provided their usual excellent support, clinic despite vintage being in the middle of the School holidays (Tasmania has this year moved to four terms) and their fearless leader, medical Sherryn Hepher being on the other side of the world!  So, information pills the team were led by parent Hoong Nguyen who managed superbly.

Whilst yields were down, the fruit quality for all three varieties was excellent and comparable to that great year 2000.  All is now in the hands of Jeremy Dineen to work his wizardry and I have no doubt that he will!

Consolidating the bins for travel

Consolidating the bins for travel

The pickers watch on waiting for positive news on the grape snip count

The pickers watch on waiting for positive news on the grape snip count

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“Old vines aren’t good because they’re old, they are old because they’re good”

This quote attributed to Rob Gibson of Gibson Wines appeared in a Dan Murphy’s ad released today (20 April).  Because of the scourge of phylloxera in Europe, most of the ‘old vines’ are in the new countries, such as Australia, in particular, South Australia.  Whilst Tasmania can’t compete with the alleged 173-year old vines in SA, vines were first planted in Tasmania in and around 1813, with a sparkling wine from Matthew Broughton’s vineyard in New Town, Hobart, accredited with winning a trophy at the London Exhibition in 1854.  Unfortunately, those vines no longer exist, leaving Providence with the oldest vines in Tasmania at 60 years, being planted by Jean Miguet here at Providence, or what was then called “La Provence”.

Wine from ‘old vines’ is good, but still dependent upon the season and husbandry.  Unfortunately, their yield becomes less as the years roll on and, every year, as discussed in a previous blog, they do die, their last gasp signature being a full crop of ripe fruit and not a single leaf!  We have no intention of removing these wonders whilst they live.  Replacement is by layering their next door neighbour with the expectation of fruit from the ‘new vine’ within two years.

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Vintage!

The culmination of year’s toil ends on Sunday.  On Tuesday we picked the Riesling – first time ever it has been picked before both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  The fruit came in at 13.8 Baume, the most ripe we have ever picked Riesling.  Because of the small amount, it will be blended with another batch and we will share in the spoils!

Tomorrow (Saturday) we pick the Pinot Noir.  I’m very pleased with the quality of the fruit, not so pleased with the Chardonnay, as we have lost some fruit to powdery mildew.  This occurred when our air blast sprayer carked it and we are still waiting for one small bit to arrive from Germany.  To complete the spray programme, we had to convert our weed sprayer into a foliage sprayer, with a carefully made piece of stainless made by Matt Lowe at Solutions in Stainless (always supporting the locals if possible).  Again, as for the past 15 years, we are supported by the Launceston Grammar School Music School, headed by Sherryn Hepher.  A few difficulties, seeing as Tasmania now has four terms and vintage will, invariably, occur during the school holidays when the kids (and staff) scatter.

Loading the Riesling

Loading the Riesling

IMG_1992

More about the Pinot and Chardonnay after this weekend!

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New Kids on the Block!

In the last month, viagra order Providence has released its 2011 Pinot Noir, pill 2012 Monet Riesling and 2013 Miguet Reserve Chardonnay.  These wines fit well in the Providence stable.  The 2011 Pinot is not a Miguet, but it is a well balanced Pinot showing lots of character, forrest floor with evident tannin and acid.  It is definitely a wine to keep, or drink now with veal, lamb, pasta, Atlantic salmon (Tasmanian, of course!) and Duck.  The Chardonnay is consistent with our previous releases with fruit dominant and light oak recessive.  Good acidity, an apple bouquet and a long finish, this wine goes well with lightly spiced chicken dishes, natural oysters and ostrich backstraps (cooked blue with ginger, garlic and plum sauce).

The 2012 Riesling is pure fruit, mostly passion with a touch of lemon.  We have enjoyed this wine with white fish and spicy Asian dishes.  This wine is only sold at cellar door and mail order.

Providence 2011 Pint Noir 2012 Providence Monet Riesling Providence 2013 Miguet Reserve Chardonnay

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BIRD CONTROL (Pre Netting!)

One of the many visitors to the vineyard over the years.  Aviators include an F/A-18, Canberra bomber, C130E Hercules and even a BAC1-11.  When this chopper came there wasn’t a bird in sight! (I was flying three of them).

The ultimate bird control machine!

The ultimate bird control machine!

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Visitors to Providence

Whilst I was busy in the business of promoting and selling my wines, I was somewhat distracted by the two magnificent cars that arrived in formation.  The closest is a 2013 Clubman and the one behind is a 2003 model.  Looked that same but the power plant in the later one is a Mustang and in the 2003 a Landrover Defender engine.  Magnificent and in concours d’elegance condition.

Clubmans at Providence

Clubmans at Providence

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NETTING

The “Arm-strong Hand-draulic” vineyard is defined in Providence’s netting process.  The narrow rows (1.5 Metre) and the steep terrain negate the use of any mechanised approach to this activity.  The tools of trade are stiff haired brooms, this year with cane handles and they have performed very well with no breakages.

Once the nets are over each block of vines they are sewed together with single filament fishing line, circa 50 lbs break and strain, and then the supply of used elevator cables are placed on top of the netting on the outsides, away from the vines themselves so that the Currawongs can’t reach the fruit.  Total exclusion of birds has secondary effects:  firstly, there are no European wasps, as they are unable to broach the fruit themselves and must wait for birds to initiate damage.  As there are no birds under the nets, feral cats don’t slit the netting to get in at night after birds.

Today we will finish the sewing and net the last block.  What follows is daily inspections to ensure no damage or holes (and to carefully remove any snakes that get snagged trying to slither through).  The is an interesting and exacting exercise, because I extract them alive.  Snakes and I have no argument!  Damage can still be caused by wallabies walking around the edges and pooping on the netting, as well as native hens (turbo chooks) who get their feet tangled.

Armstrong Handraulic Netting at Providence

Armstrong Handraulic Netting at Providence

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