The warm start to the year resulted in bud break about 4 weeks ahead of last year and the good weather since then means that flowering and fruit set are also well ahead. This is good news because it means that we stand a better chance of some sun and warmth when the grapes will be ripening in August and September. The warm summer last year (when this years florescence was formed) has also resulted in larger potential bunches. No doubt Alex will want to take off some fruit soon!
Thanks to Alex the vineyard is looking great, with all crown thinning and wire lifting completed and the grass mown. Spraying is all on schedule and soon we will be applying biodynamic preparation 501 (horn silica) to give the vines a bit more energy to help with their growth. Alex is also doing some shoot tipping to help with fruit set. Soon we will be leaf plucking to ensure that the newly formed bunches get the optimum level of sunlight.
There's still a long way to go and we will have to be very wary of mildews setting in if we get a wet spell. However there is already talk of producing a small amount of Pinot Noir red if the good weather continues!
Normally the harvest is around 120 days from flowering so pencil in mid October in your diaries.