Spring is a wonderful time in the vineyard, full of anticipation and promise! And after what was the coldest winter in over twenty-six years, we’re very happy that Spring is now here!
Bud burst occurred a little later at Warramunda this year due to our decision to delay pruning, with the vines ‘springing to life’ after their winter dormancy from approximately the third week in September. We now wait with trepidation until the first week of November when we’ll know for sure that we’re in the clear from frosts for another year.
The vineyard is abuzz with activity once again, as we regularly walk through the vines on the lookout for pests and disease. Good vine health really can’t be underestimated at this time – it’s something that has a big influence on the quality of fruit, come vintage time.
It might come as a surprise to some, but the best outcome for vintage isn’t necessarily having the biggest, healthiest vines possible. We subscribe to the opinion that it is important to get a balance between plant health and induced stress at key times throughout the reproduction cycle, as this can actually result in fruit that’s more attractive for winemaking.
With the vines set to flower in the next couple of weeks it’s important that the vines remain healthy and well supplied with nutrition. Thankfully, the terroir we enjoy at Warramunda Estate typically provides adequate soil moisture and nutrients during the spring period. So while it’s worthwhile checking the moisture status of soils as move into the flowering stage, very seldom is it necessary for us to apply supplementary irrigation.
We’ve just started replanting our cabernet block with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec vines. When planted, each vine will be protected by a vine guard, which not only shields it from frost but from animals like rabbits and kangaroos too. Nurturing these new vines is fundamental in their early days as it’s critical they reach the fruiting wire by January 2016. This will ensure the vine is balanced in root depth and foliage. January 2016
At this point even though difficult to foresee what the 2016 vintage will bring, Warramunda Estate is progressing at a desired rate and we expect fantastic fruit this coming year.