It’s official, winter is behind us and there’s lots happening at the Estate as we head into the busy spring season.
Making wine, much like tending a garden, is a yearly cycle. With every season comes a round of tasks ranging from weed control, to pruning, and the ever exciting machinery maintenance.
We have a simple philosophy here at Helen & Joey Estate: to respect and care for our vineyard so we may produce the best possible grapes to make world class wines of true varietal character. We put our heart and soul into every vine, every grape, and every undertaking, no matter how big or small.
So what’s happening at the Estate you ask? Well, three weeks ago we finished pruning the entire vineyard in preparation for new buds to shoot and bloom. Beautiful early grape varieties of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are already out in leaf and looking mighty fine. The first buds of spring have also started to swell and emerge on some of the later varieties. This is a critical time at the vineyard as it is when the berries are formed and enables the tantalising flavours of the fruit to develop as it should. We are lucky to have Bruce, our trusty guardian unicorn, keeping a watchful eye (or should we say horn) over the vineyard on our hilltop deck during this precarious time.
The Yarra Valley truly is a special place to visit. Our 85 acre estate is located in the sub region of Gruyere, which is home to many iconic producers. Every vineyard is a unique place and an intricate mix of grape varietal, tradition, climate and grower personality. But there is one thing we all share, and that is Mother Nature. And she can be both a blessing and a curse.
Rainfall is key to all things agriculture and our precious grapevines are definitely no exception. During times of drought it can be difficult for the vines to soak up the water they need before the soil drinks it all up. Luckily, we have had plenty of rain so far, filling our dams and keeping our soil wet. This will not be a year where water is in short supply.
With spring also comes frost, which is always a concern to crops. Thankfully as a result of the rain it is unlikely to pose such a problem (dry years are when the frost is greatest). So keep your fingers and toes crossed that Mother Nature continues to smile on us as we look forward to another successful vintage in the New Year!
But it’s not all about the vines – broken posts have been replaced, broken wires joined, and mission staples hammered in. Our slashers and sprayers are all ready to rock n’ roll as fungicide sprays are set to begin this very week.
So there you have it folks, we are well on our way to a spectacular spring. While there is a lot that goes into running a vineyard, it’s not all work around here. Just recently we received unconfirmed reports of a naked maiden in the vineyard on September 12th. We can confirm however, that Bruce is on guard for any further dalliance of such nature.
As always our Cellar Door is open 7 days a week. Make sure you drop by and see the vines in bloom from the winery viewing area, give Bruce some love and sample some award winning wine. You may have heard elsewhere, but our 2015 Layla Chardonnay won GOLD at the 2016 Yarra Valley Wine Show. So why not give that a try? You can also get a complimentary bottle of Inara Rose when you visit the Cellar Door anytime from September through to November. Be sure to head on over to our Facebook page to get the voucher.
Hope to see you soon! And until next time – full steam ahead.