Our wines are 100% estate-grown here in Murrumbateman and 80% of the effort in making award-winning wines starts in the vineyard.
As we head towards summer and the days are warming up, flowering has started in the vineyard. Grapevine flowers are self-pollinating (they possess both male and female parts) so barring weather issues or pest invasions, grape flowers can transform into berries all by themselves.
Once fertilised, the flowers form clusters that will eventually become berry bunches. At this stage we will assess to see if we need to remove excess bunches in order to conserve the vines energy.
After flowering is complete, the vine focuses its energy on leaf and canopy growth to provide the best protective environment for the developing grape bunches. Veraison begins to occur when the vine has stopped growing and the energy is concentrated on the berries. It is quite an exciting time as the green berries start to change colour and ripen.
Leaf canopy thinning is also common during this period to allow more light and to increase airflow. We will remove leaves on the eastern side of the vines so that the grapes can catch the morning sun but will leave the leaf canopy on the western side to shade the grapes from the scorching afternoon summer sun.
The grapes continue to ripen and sugar levels rise throughout the period of veraison and until they have all changed colour. In February Graeme will be out in the vineyard testing the ripeness of the grapes to determine when harvest 2021 will begin.
After losing the entire 2020 vintage, fingers and toes are crossed for a fantastic 2021 vintage!