We spent the 2nd last day in the Clare Valley. We where heading out to Colin McBryde of Adelina Wines. I cant really remember that much of the trip on the way there. I saw loads of wheat fields. There where plenty roadworks and astonishingly very little people who worked on the sites (compared to South Africa where they have 8 guys with one spade digging a hole…).
I was thinking about the vineyards there. Couldn’t describe it very well and then read their description on their site. That says it best: “The farm is managed organically with plantings of well established Shiraz (1915), Grenache (1940) and Pedro Ximenez (1915), these, together with recent plantings of Shiraz, Mataro and Malbec, along with a true representation of a field blend, are all Australian Certified Organic and make up the Adelina Estate Wines”
We had a few discussions on the pruning of the vineyards. I got the feeling that my ideas of pruning was way different than that of Colin, and at one point I think I struck a nerve… It is always good to have discussions in the vineyards, even if one disagrees. It makes you think and evaluate your ways and just brings you back to the basics.
I think though that a lot of viticulturist and winemakers can benefit greatly from visiting South Africa – specifically to have a look at the training of bushvines. I got the feeling that our viticulture culture is much more entrenched in bushvines – especially in the Swartland, and don’t forget about Stellenbosch and Paarl.
Something that we have been exploring in the last 5 years is planting raised bushvines to get cultivators in. Bushvines isn’t designed for that and herbicides are becoming an increasingly bitter swearword…
But back to the vines at Adelina. The vines where once again BIG!
And here too I noticed the extra wide inter-vine and row spacing. Bigger space, bigger root systems (depending on soil preparation and other factors of coarse) Anyway, we headed out to a neighbour too where an elderly couple (forgive me for forgetting their names) was busy pruning (old school cutting back)
Dylan very diplomatically explained why this is not the best idea and gave a lesson on carbohydrate storage without being too scientific. I enjoy it when Dylan goes into this mode. I learn a lot.
It was time to head back. Tomorrow will be my last day in Australia. I must admit – it was action packed and Dylan really made us work for the beers!