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Making wine in the vineyard

The photos below show the results of the 65mm of rain we received in January this year. In the first image you can see the incredible regrowth of the vines, with the tips poking through the nets. This occurred in certain patches of deeper soil where the water pooled more.In these areas the bunches of red grapes were shaded by the excessive foliage, as seen in the photo below. It's hard to believe there are any grapes hiding in there at all!As a result, these particular vines have been leaf plucked by hand to ensure even ripening throughout the entire vineyard block, which should result in a more consistent wine. The exposed bunches are shown below.This is winemaking in the vineyard!

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It's almost Vintage 2016 at Grace Farm

The lead up to vintage has seen some nervous moments in the vineyard. On January 16 we had an unseasonal downpour, with 65mm of rain falling over two days. This led to minor outbreaks of grey mould (botrytis bunch rot) in white grapes through some vineyards (see photo below). Fortunately Grace Farm escaped the berry splitting that can compromise bunches and lead to grey mould. Interestingly, we used none of the synthetic fungicides which target botrytis and we feel fortunate that our programme of sulphur, kelp and fish emulsion sprays have kept the vines in good health and the fruit in pristine condition. At present the vineyard is completely netted and we are eagerly awaiting the first pick of chardonnay in...

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