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Quality cool climate wine from the Orange wine growing region in New South Wales, Australia

Viticulture blog

August

Stephen Doyle

Wet, freezing and windy. Rain = 90 mm. Temp = 6.6 degrees C.

Most pruning is completed during August with the earlier bursting Chardonnay and Merlot Noir the last to see the blade.

This late pruning will help delay bud burst for a week or so, hopefully beyond the frost danger period in October. Even though modern production agriculture talks in hectares and tonnes, it is well to keep in mind that a hectare of vineyard is made up of anywhere between 1500 and 10,000 healthy individual vines and that a tonne of grapes is made up of somewhere between 10,000 and 17,000 individual healthy bunches.

As mentioned already, at Bloodwood, each vine is hand dressed according to the health and vigour it displayed in the previous season. Stephen does as much of the pruning and personally checks each vine he is unable to prune himself as time permits.

The dams are sometimes full by late August, the grasses begin to stir and the geese are evicted from their winter hangout in the pump shed. The last week or so of August is when we do battle with the spring grasses and winter weeds along the vine row. This helps preserve the vital winter moisture for the busy spring growing period about to begin.