November has finished and we are now on the countdown to Christmas. The sun is shining and the temperatures are mild, making it the perfect afternoon for a quick stroll in the vineyard.
As you can see from the photo below, we have flowering. The Chardonnay is pretty much finished flowering while the Merlot (pictured below) has just started.
Different varieties flower and subsequently, ripen, at different times. White grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot gris will be the first grapes harvested next year and this is related to their flowering dates. Tradition dictates that there is 120 days between flowering and harvest but so many factors can influence this – summer temperatures and degree of fruit set being just two factors. If we take that 120 days as gospel, we would start harvesting mid to late February and our vineyard guru, Jamie, has confirmed this as he expects harvest to begin the last week of February. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a mild summer which will lengthen our growing season and make for more tempered ripening.