There are few people we meet, who do not get a little bit excited about Springtime in the Yarra Valley.
Scented flowers start to bloom, the fruit trees are in full blossom and the birds start singing from very early in the morning.
It’s a time of regeneration and rebirth, which is certainly the case for our vineyard.
Now that all our vines have been pruned, the vineyard floor protected with mulch, we simply keep close watch on the time each variety in the vineyard starts to burst with new buds.
Essentially, budburst is the moment we begin to prepare for a new vintage. The growth cycle of the vine from now and through the months of October, November and December is critical for getting the right balance in the fruit for the wines we begin to make over harvest from February to April.
Generally, the Yarra Valley receives a healthy dose of spring rains, meaning we don’t need to irrigate to keep our vines healthy and vibrant.
Frost however can cause us some concern. Spring frosts can affect large areas of the vineyard by killing off the new fragile shoots. Wild deer and kangaroos can also take a liking to new bud growth so we need to be vigilant at this time.
Sunshine is a critical factor for the vines during Spring. Too much wind or rain can damage the flowers and overcast weather can slow or reduce the amount of fruit a vine develops.
Our method of arch-cane pruning is designed to give the vine the right balance of sunshine right across the length of each vine. It helps to take advantage of as many sunshine days as we can enjoy and ensures there is an even distribution of energy.
The essential word over Spring is balance. The balance of all the weather elements working in our favour, the wildlife being kind to our new vines and the soil providing the right balance of nutrients to the vines while they have spurts of new growth.
Our Vineyard Manager, Michelle Baker keeps close watch on all these elements and will respond to what each variety or part of the vineyard needs at the right time.
Her focus is to ensure we use organic compounds to fight any sign of disease that might appear, to lift vineyard wires across the vineyard as the vines lengthen and to proactively keep wildlife safely away from our new shoots and berries as they appear.
A busy time of year, the Spring season is critical to the health of the fruit we pick at vintage, shaping the wines for the 2017 vintage year.