I haven’t posted in ages! I will try to get back to regular posting again!
Our 2018/2019 season is already half way. Chardonnay and Shiraz vineyards are very uneven – mostly due to the unusually warm and dry July we experienced coupled with a cold September. The Bordeaux varieties seem to be much more even. Some Shiraz and Chardonnay buds are still struggling to bud properly!
Some of the early Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays were hit with a bit of hail and 2 weeks later by frost, all the way from Paarl to Elgin. Luckily this was early and the vines has since recovered. Our soil moisture is much better that last year, and the vineyards are now growing at their usual blinding pace. With enough moisture and longer daylight hours it is all systems go!
Downy Mildew is a huge threat this year. Cool and wet mornings contributing to the increase of disease pressure, something you should not take lightly this season. Powdery Mildew is also a huge threat this year, but proper systemics should sort this out early in the season.
Currently we are suckering all the vineyards to get better air movement through the canopies to dry out quicker and get better fungicide spread. It is also important to channel all the energy of the plant into the correct shoots.
Here are a few pics I took of vineyards over the past two months
Carignan in Darling. Makes some awesome wine!
Chenin blanc from 1977 also in Darling. You can taste this wine from The Blacksmith Wines and Van Wyk Family Wines.
Merlot at Overgaauw in Stellenbosch. This farm just performs better and better every year. Very even this year and the covercrop is ripening this year due to the late rains.
Pinot Noir at Iona in Elgin. We are trying red clover as a permanent under vine cover crop to suppress weeds and to control vigour. So far so good!
The T’Voetpad vineyard in the Kapteinskloof – Piketberg, in the Swartland. We are working very hard in this vineyard this year. The vines took quite a strain with the past 3 years drought, but they seem to be on track again for the coming season.