Anxious Times

We’re about three weeks off vintage, and the rain is making our lives very stressful. Yesterday a local winemaker commented that he thinks the Victoria bushfires have contributed to the very strange weather patterns we are experiencing, and I believe there’s merit in his thesis.


Even when we had the fire over the road from us, minute in comparison with the Australian disasters, it created whirlwinds which upset the day’s weather. Imagine what fires of the magnitude Victoria has experienced would do to the atmosphere. Now poor Australia – in Queensland – is hunkering down to a massive cyclone.

But we do have some botrytis in the vines and the rain – this morning it is raining again – will not help at all. The viognier is especially vulnerable because we won’t be picking that until quite some time after the pinot noir. Today I shall go through the viognier and clip off the bot bunches, take them away and give them to the pigs. We don’t mind a bit of bot in the whites (definitely not the reds!) but it’s too early.

But the pinot noir is looking great. We’ve done quite a major bunch drop, leaving only the best. misc-0061

Saturday and Sunday were perfect autumn days for walking around the vineyard – with Kete – and enjoying being out of the courtroom (briefly).


Look at those skies:


We’ve added to the sign on the gate too. When the “kindness of strangers” guys from the West Coast delivered our beautiful piece of greenstone, they arrived at the gate with “Redbank” on it, and thought they’d made a terrible mistake having “James” etched on the greenstone. Just to explain, the company is Redbank Estate Ltd, and all our wines are marketed under the brand, “James”, using the stylised signature of Colin’s late son James. So we decided to add “James” to the gate, and I needed to change the dashboard of this page, so took a photo. As I took the first photo, the battery in the camera went flat, but I quite like the result:


Finally, apologies to those subscribers who received an old posting in their email on Friday. I’m not sure what WordPress were up to, and hopefully you are receiving the correct post today. The one you were supposed to receive, instead of “sultry summer skies”, was a report on our newly installed Jutta Chisholm painting.


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