After a slow start the vines are really looking good now. We haven't had any significant heat events and have had a few small rain fall events in the past month. While the climate is providing potential disease management challenges, we haven't found any issues as yet (touch wood). We have engaged an expert viticulturist (Mandy) to make sure that Sally and I don't miss anything.
Our vineyard guys have been busy "feeding" the vines with both foliar sprays and fertigation (nutrients mixed with water distributed with a fertigation). We've also been spending quite a bit of time on grass and weed management. It's suprising how much it grows when the sheep are relocated away from the vineyard.
The vineyard has also been a hive of activity with the re-development of some sections of the vineyard. We have planted several clones of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. From a winemaking point of view we really won't see the benefit of this for about 5 years but already I'm excited about the new clones.
The vines are showing signs of commencing flowering any day. Our soil probes are showing that the vines are taking up nutrient which is always a good sign that flowering is near. Fingers crossed for good weather conditions during flowering. Irrigation of certain sections of the vineyard will become really important from now until harvest.