At this time of year, we pretend winter is gone and spring is in the air.
In Orange of course, this requires a substantial leap of faith and manifest resistance to frost bite. The fact is that the mean minimum for October is about 6 degrees, so it's basically optimism about the season ahead which keeps us warm.
By the end of the second week in the month, most varieties have burst their buds and are leafing out for the job ahead. When the new shoots reach 80 mm or so, we apply another Copper spray to prevent the development of downy mildew along with a precautionary powdery mildew spray.
The idea here is to keep a preventative cover of Copper on the quickly growing shoots and developing flower clusters as they head into what's known as the "grand period of growth". During this time you can almost see the vine shoots elongating from day to day so regular Copper coverings are high on our list of songs.
Any sucker shoots on Pinot Noir vines and unwanted water shoots elsewhere are removed and a final check on the irrigation equipment and trellises is carried out.
This is also the season of the nose blow and blow-fly as the early Patterson's curse and rye grasses begin to flower. ACHOO!!