Vineyard update from Ben

Ben and Rex with the Compost PileWhat a difference a year makes. In contrast to last summer, 2012/2013 has been incredible.

The sun has shone endlessly with temperatures around thirty for what feels like an eternity. Marlborough has just come out of the second sunniest February on record. The vines are lapping it up.

Not surprisingly we are through veraison in the Pinot noir and humming through in the Sauvignon and Viognier. The Petit Manseng will no doubt join them in the coming days of yet more sunshine.

Currently the vineyard team is made up of five key players. Led by Ben, there is Kev, the tractor and mechanical man, Chris and her daughter Kelly, and Petr from the Czech Republic.

The key task at present is bird control. That is, keeping the little critters off the fruit we have all worked so hard for. This involves; nets, a scare crow, a shot gun and a really loud horn.

Because of last year’s cloudy weather we did three 501 applications, this year we have only done one. This is basically, ground up silica crystals wafted over the canopy before the sun comes up to aid photosynthesis. It also helps by increasing the grapes skin width thus making the ripe fruit less susceptible to botrytChurton's Marlborough Hillside Vineyardis.

With harvest just around the corner, we wait with excitement and intrigue to see how the 2013 vintage will turn out.

I am positive it will be a cracker.

Ben Weaver

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