Bug burst as we spring into action!
Bud burst brings us hope - and critters from the woods!
As the state finally emerges from what has felt like a long and lonely winter, Victorians weren’t the only one in lockdown.
Our vines were having their sleep, springing into action with the emerging warmth. In September and October we observed an enormous uplift in energy from the vineyard. With the plentiful rain and sunshine, every living element is full of vigour!
This signals a concentrated period of hard labour from the team as we give the vines the best chance at making the berries we want.
The pressures start with the management of grasses and weeds as they're a natural competitor for nutrients. We fastidiously watch the 'leaf', particularly as it develops more coverage, to ensure we don’t see Downy Mildew.
Left untreated, this pervasive microbe can turn leaves brown and destroy the vine's capacity to capture the sun and convert its energy into grapes.
Leaf burst also attracts all kinds of activity from critters found naturally in our envionment - from the Light Brown Apple Moth to bud mite, blister mite and the good ol' common garden snail.
All of them want a piece of the vine, as we hope you will - but best once we bottle!
As Staindl Wines is certified biodynamic, we never spray injurious herbicides or pesticides to rid our little visitors. Instead, we encourage our wild ducks to munch on the snails. We keep the grasses mown to discourage the Light Brown Apple Moth from breeding. And as we disbud and destem by hand, we manually attend to caterpillar moths.
All in all, a bounteous period of growth has set us in good stead for the first week in December, which is when we expect flowering. The flowers turn to fruit, so it's a critical next step and therein lies a new challenge - and one you cannot control: the weather.
Stay safe, and see you next time
- The Staindl Wines team