2016 Vintage: Peering into the Crystal Ball

Date Posted:8 January 2016 

We’re half way through December as I write this and as we’re having a very hot month here, the vineyards need watching. Despite a fairly dry winter the vines have never looked better. There is plenty of canopy to shield the growing fruit from the harsh sunlight and there is an abundance of fruit. In fact the crop is probably too abundant so come January we’ll be out in the vineyards dropping crop on the ground from all blocks and all varieties. Naturally this hurts aswe’ve spent a lot of money pruning and nurturing the vines in the hope they’ll produce fruit for us. You might be asking, why do we do this? It’s a case of sacrificing some fruit to save the bulk of the grapes. If we let the vines try and ripen a generous crop-load we’ll run the risk of stressing the vines and having a deleterious effect on the quality of the vintage. So go they must, particularly given a soil profile that is starting to run low on moisture. A couple of inches of rain would be handy, though.

I won’t be going to the bank on the 2016 vintage just yet but if the weather forecasts prove to be correct, and we have a coolish summer, then all will be very, very good. However, ‘there’s often a slip between the cup and the lip’ as the old proverb says. A forecast is just a forecast, and the crystal ball is often unreliable. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Cheers,
Hugh


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