This is our very religious period at Bloodwood as the early Chardonnay begins to flower.
Successful flowering weather is warm and calm with no rain. Orange often gets an arctic blast or two during November, so it's a case of bringing out the incense, adopting the Lotus position and remaining optimistic.
Lifting meter long vine shoots into the vertical position ensures good light infiltration and provides more efficient organic spray penetration. Luckily, vines are self-pollinating so there is no real need for insect vectors to cross-pollinate, but as we've never used insecticides on Bloodwood we always see a fair population of bugs working the vines.
One of the most memorable experiences you can have in this world is to smell the incredible perfume of a vineyard in full flower on a warm and calm early summer evening. This should be at the top of your must-do-before you-die list.
Regular rainfall in the Orange Region usually takes up in November, so it's important that the vines are not moisture stressed prior to and during flowering. We use tensionmeters to monitor vineyard moisture status and to give us an objective guide as to when each vineyard needs additional moisture.