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

Viticulture blog

January

Stephen Doyle

Warm, dry and languid. Rain = 71 mm. Temp = 19.8 degrees C.

Summer occurs in Orange from the 13th to the 22nd of January every third year although we often still use a doona at night even then.

The late afternoons are magic with an almost fluid warmth, and the nights are often balmy. If you want another humbling experience after grape blossoming, sleep under the stars on a dark mid-summer night in an organic vineyard.

Meanwhile, the spring flies and insects have disappeared and the vineyard is in full flight. Irrigation is the main daily occupation, although an ever watchful eye is kept on the skies for hail and the spray program continues in anticipation of unseasonal rainfall. Historically we have been known to experience substantial rainfalls from NW ex-cyclonic depressions moving across the continent in January but unlike warmer growing areas where the fruit is accumulating ripening sugars, rainfall at Bloodwood at this time  does more good than harm to the developing bunches.

We conduct one more pass of the canopy to leave the bunches as open to the ripening sun as possible. Starlings and other feathered fiends, which will become a severe annoyance as vintage approaches, are seen gathering into huge flocks at dawn and dusk. Bird control is about to briefly assume Hitchcockian dimensions.