Compliments of my father, when introducing Spring! We have had a very wet Winter and that rain pattern has continued on into Spring. What this means is that Winter management has been delayed, other than pruning and tying down, because we can’t get machinery on the vineyard for mulching and spraying. Today, 15 September, we welcome bud burst on Chardonnay, 6 days ahead of the norm.
We have also decided that open lyre trellising is more trouble than it’s worth, particularly with regard to mildew control. When in full canopy it is very difficult to design spray equipment that reaches the inner foliage. So, they will be cut back to stumps, a single shoot trained and an additional row inserted in between each existing row, making 1.75 metres between rows, comparable to existing plantings of 1.5 metres.
This is all part of the transition in ownership, which will be occurring over the next few months. Whilst I will continue responsibility for cellar door and sales operations, Rusty Cook the new owner, will be responsible for vineyard operations and development as well as the construction of a winery that will process fruit from 2020 and beyond. This will end my 39 years of ownership but, at 73 years of age and mostly health issues I have had to slow down and looking forward to a sea change (literarily).
To me, Providence has been a labour of love. But then again, so has everything else I have done in my life. I had a fabulous career in the RAAF for some 25 years flying some lovely aeroplanes as well as operational service in Vietnam. No regrets, none at all.