The season that is ahead of it’s time shows no signs of abating. We now have January weather, yet we are still to pass GO and still yet to collect our $200 (Christmas and associated presents). A strange season yet sensical in some way seeing Easter is very early in 2016 (end March). The harvest is anticipated to be in the mid to end March range compared to recent years harvesting very end March and early April.
The vines are in fine form (though some of the most bony, hard old soils are seeing some some vines with reduced shoot growth) with the majority of the vineyard having a beautiful, full canopy. The flowering in November (again, very early) has seen an excellent crop level set and we will be doing some judicious green harvesting/crop thinning in late January. The bunch size is quite small at this point but the bunch and berry numbers are high. So far, the disease pressure is low and the rigorous early season shoot thinning and positioning sees the canopy quite open and airy.
The new high density Pinot Noir planting (1.1m by 0.8m for 11,300 vines per hectare) is developing well and is on track and is growing some strong shoots which will set it up for a 2017 harvest. The (5,000) vines have been worked completely by hand (hoeing, spraying) to this point and next year will see the introduction of a narrow (68cm) tractor (Niko on small tracks) for undervine cultivation and spraying. The vineyard is managed without herbicide so the amount of hand work is considerable.
The 2014 Bindi releases (small crop of intense and very age worthy wines) are long gone and we are looking forward to bottling the 2015s from March 2015 onwards. The wines have a beautiful fruit weight and structure and their harmony is exceptionally attractive. There is plenty of positive noise around about the fine 2015s in southern Victoria and the vintage looks to be a success along the lines of the outstanding 2010 season.
To our friends and family in wine and life, have a great holiday season and here’s to a prosperous and contented 2016.