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every year the Tannat is first out of the blocks in a spontaneous miracle of nature called budburst……….here’s hoping for a dry healthy vintage
Cane pruning is a more costly exercise requiring great care and skill; so why do it ?
Quality improves because it reduces shading with less buds and more even spacing between each, leading to smaller canopies, looser bunches and smaller berries; all likely to lead to improvements in the finished wine. Open canopies and looser bunches reduce disease pressure and improve airflow and natural light throughout the canopy. With old wood removed trunk ailments like Eutypia, are minimised. Cane pruning also reduces strain on the vine’s vascular system by simplifying sap flow.
At Glenguin Andrew Tedder leads the viticultural team in every aspect of optimising fruit quality from clonal selection and planting, through vine training, green harvests, the essential timing for handpicking at vintage and of course the winter pruning.
The photo shows a hand cane pruned vine ; 20 year old shiraz on the Schoolhouse Block at Glenguin.
The Helibuyers at Glenguin last weekend wanted to ensure they received their allocation of the 2009 Aristea Shiraz. They even stayed awahile to help brother Andrew and Klaus cane-prune the first 4 rows.
A blog on cane versus spur pruning is coming soon.
Hard pruning this winter followed by a cover crop planted early spring (see the local Eastern Gray Kangaroos enjoying the sunshine). Vintage 2012 just weeks away and the vineyard has never been so green ! Veraison complete with both shiraz and tannat blocks.
Hello everyone and welcome to winter! While you’re rugging up against the chill, our vines are thinking about having a bit of a sleep. We’ve only had 4 mild frosts so far this winter but the vines have defoliated and are ready for prunning in July. We wrote a piece on how we manage the vineyard during frosts last year – you can find it here. And so we’ve nearly finished our one year cycle of events in the vineyard. Our blog’s one year birthday is in a couple of weeks!
Glenguin’s seven geese lost their eggs twice to a goanna this season but they made friends with five black swans who stayed for three weeks this month as the picture shows. All the bearded dragons have gone to the river for the winter and we look forward to their return in the spring.
Above is a shot Klaus took of our Schoolhouse Block and Aristea Shiraz with soils of sandstone, gravel, ironstone and petrified wood. This gravel bench is a unique site and one of the main reasons our wines taste the way they do.
Finally congratulations to Sue & John Barben from Newcastle and Stacey Magree from South Sydney who won our ‘Friends of Glenguin’ magnums last time around. If you would like to join the ‘Friends of Glenguin’ and receive news updates and very special offers then call Klaus on 02 6579 1009 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vintage was early this year by about 3 weeks. The low tonnage and weather were the main factors with a picking date of 8th Feb 2011. In the last 6 years vintage has been getting earlier and earlier because of climate conditions which appear to be changing for the long term. Two weeks of very hot weather hit us in mid-January – 38ºC to 48ºC every day and nine days over 46ºC.
This coupled with the low tonnage of fruit on the vine made ripening come on fast. Off 5.5 acres of Shiraz we took off only approximately 3.8 tonnes, whereas from 2.5 acres of Tannat vines we harvested around 700kg. Fruit quality is very good, with good concentration of fruit alongside fresh acids.
Wine educator Jean-Claude Ferrier has been bringing students to Glenguin from Ryde TAFE twice a year for the last 7 years. He believes Glenguin has some of the best wines in the Hunter, and feels that our bio-dynamic and organic principles used in the vineyard have great value. They lead to a more natural environment for vines to grow, as no systemic chemicals are ever used.
Students are mostly sommeliers from Sydney doing one year courses of wine education. Students are taken on a vineyard tour by myself and shown the Schoolhouse and Stonybroke Shiraz blocks and Tannat block with an overview of the soils in the 3 different blocks and how the vines are pruned to get the right tonnage and good air flow. We also talk about how pests are controlled by natural means, as well as many other aspects of the life of the Glenguin vineyards.
Tastings are approximately 2 hours long for these students and a lot of notes get taken, as you can see in the photo above. This class really liked the Tannat and Schoolhouse Block wines as they illustrate the Glenguin story and a complex, interesting and challenging wines to taste. The Ancestors Semillon was also a favourite. It is considered to be a true Hunter wine with an interesting flavour profile and they loved the story of James Busby that stands behind this wine.
‘Tis the season….with pruning just around the corner. You can definitely feel the nip in the air in the morning…
And a bearded dragon that calls the Shiraz and Tannat blocks home…
On Monday we got out into the vineyards and did the business. We started at dawn and picked up until 9am. Thanks to the warm settled weather we’ve had recently we were able to predict the best picking dates from a while out and we got it just right…the fruit flavours were perfectly ripe.
The Tannat is superb quality though the yield was tiny. We only took 0.4 tonnes off per acre!
Klaus and Rita
And that would be me…eyeballing every basket that goes into our small 1/2 tonne bins.