As I sit here writing this blog, it’s raining outside in biblical proportions, 37mm of rain this morning on top of the 25mm we had last night. The winery drains are flooding, the vineyard is too wet to drive a tractor on, in fact there are rivers running down some rows- I thought this was summer?
Now that flowering is well and truly over it’s time to start our first part of yield estimations. Bunch counts, which is actually just as it sounds, counting bunches is hardly the most riveting job, but is a good way to get a decent estimation of what fruit we have hanging on the vines. It’s also an interesting way to see the variability between the individual clones and their different growth habits. We have 10 different clones in the Pinot Noir alone, and the differences are quite marked.
This year generally berry numbers per bunch are a bit under what I expected earlier in the year but this is mainly due to the rain we had over flowering, which usually means some berries don’t form. However some clones which missed the rain at flowering, ie that flowered either before or after the rainy period have some massive bunches with wings off the sides of the clusters. The good thing about all the rain we’ve been having is that it’s setting us up with a nice healthy canopy coming up to the ripening period.
The seeds in the bunches are starting to harden now, which means veraison isn’t far away, likely in the next few weeks, then it’s all go from there till harvest, keeping the birds at bay off our precious crop.
Fingers crossed that we will get a great late August and September.