A (masked) sigh of relief | Welcome back 2021

Here we are in 2021 breathing a (shallow) sigh of relief to have put annus horribilus where it belongs - firmly behind us.

And while humans worldwide are still struggling, mother nature shows no sign of slowing down - she dances to her own rhythm.

Our vineyard flowered in early December and we were really happy with our fruit set. Dry weather after a wet Spring allowed pollination to occur largely uninterrupted.

From pollination, it's a numbers game. We count 105 days to anticipate 'vintage' (our harvest). A lot happens in those 3 months. And a lot can go wrong.

This is when our pests hit hardest, the mildews become active and the seasons conspire to give us sleepless nights: too much rain, wind, heat and hail all threaten the crop.

Above you see Adam driving our Fendt tractor with a biodynamic spray of Seasol to give the vines a foliar (left) feed to assist them resist mildew.

Currently our berries are hard and green but with the warming weather we'll see veraison (the onset of ripening) soon. After this we pray, often fruitlessly, for gentle weather.

In February we'll be busy putting on our nets to protect the ripened berries from fattening the birds. We don't exaggerate when we say this: if we didn’t net, we wouldn’t have a single berry to pick! They would strip the vines bare.

If this job was easy everyone would do it, right?

Our cellar door is open weekends again and we'd be delighted to welcome you. Please call beforehand to check we're about. My mobile number is on the website's 'contact' page.

Until then, take care.

Paul and the Staindl Wines team

(Photo, below: grapes showing millerandage- a characteristic whereby grape bunches contain berries that differ greatly in size and, most importantly, maturity)

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