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I have to remind myself that this website is not about pretty pictures. It is suppose to be about viticulture – a topic I constantly find myself drifting away from.

Yesterday I did something I’ve been wanting to do for 8 years – observe my vineyards from the sky. Thanks to Jak Hauptfleisch this was made possible (check out his sites – Winepilottv, Youtube link)

You can walk through all your blocks all you want but  you will never get a clear picture of your entire block or farm, unless you do it from the sky. Since drones are currently illegal to use, your best bet is to use an airplane.

Paarl Mountain_01

Aerial View of Paarl Mountain

So yesterday we took to the sky. It was a beautiful, clear morning, perfect for observing the vineyards. The main goal to this is to find variations in the blocks. This will determine where we sample and how we pick the grapes, but ultimately these images will serve to better the blocks in the future, by means of soil correction, canopy management and water management.

Achieving a homogenous canopy is of utmost importance. Don’t get me wrong, I do want different flavours in the vineyards, but that must be terroir specific, not due to stress in certain parts of the block.

Aerial shot of vineyards

Aerial shot of vineyards. The weaker spots are very clear from the sky. This is brackish parts. Gypsum will be applied during the winter to neutralize the salts.

Flying over all these vineyards opens your eyes. It helps you to see the bigger picture. Your mind starts planning the coming year – the changes you want to make, the different strategies you want to apply… Only to realize – Hold On! You first need to get the 2015 crop in!



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