Shiraz, Riesling & Viognier for morning tea

In the lead up to vintage our daily intake of fruit at Tallis skyrockets. We spend time each day wandering through the vineyard, tasting and sampling the grapes readiness for harvest. This morning we looked at Shiraz, Riesling and Viognier and confirmed that vintage is just days away.

At the risk of jinxing ourselves the growing conditions in our vineyard so far this vintage have been excellent and if the rain can just hold out just a few more weeks we will have our precious grapes in the winery soon happily fermenting away. Fingers crossed!

There won't be any rain dances going on in the Tallis vineyard anytime soon

Unless you've been living under a rock in recent times most wine lovers will have heard wineries and winemakers grumble that the last two wine vintages in Australia have been challenging and at times even excruciating! While we were lucky enough to dash about between storms and pick our Riesling during 2012 the rest of our grapes ended up on the vineyard floor. The 2011 vintage was slightly better and we managed to hand pick small volumes of a couple of our red varieties.

We began our preparations for the 2013 vintage earlier this year as we are counting on next year being a ripper. We hand pruned the entire vineyard to control yields and vine vigour and since then we've been shoot thinning and bunch dropping. We are also planning for our 2013 vintage grapes to be dry grown with the exception of around veraison which is the grape ripening period. These organic vineyard practices are intended to produce low volumes of high colour and flavour grapes, with even ripening and natural acidity. If the rain gods stay away during harvest then disease risk shouldn't be a problem and we can pick our grapes at the optimal time. Sounds perfect doesn't it.

Well we're remaining optimistic that this is a snapshot of how 2013 will look but just in case your garden needs a water, think of us and put that rain dance off. Get out your watering can and in return we hope to make one of our best vintages yet.

Getting excited about teeny tiny bunches of grapes

After two years of wet soggy weather at the most critical (read worst) time on our grape growing calendar we think we've got mother nature on side this year. We're giving the 'power of positive thinking' a go anyway because unless we get some 2013 wine into our cellar we'll be serving water rather than wine at the Cellar Door before long.

Ben Rose, our Viticulturalist visited us on Friday to check the progress in the vineyard. Two thumbs up according to Ben. We've been shoot thinning the past few weeks which helps control the amount of grapes our vines produce as we're after quality not quantity. The fruit is beginning to set on the vine so we can see the tiny little grape bunches forming. Exciting times ahead if the rain gods stay away next vintage.


Riesling .. a crisp new white at Tallis Wine

[gallery]One grape variety that is very dear to our hearts is Riesling, a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Upon hearing of our love of this classic grape variety Scott Feldtmann, our Consultant Viticulturalist, won many hearts in the Tallis office by placing an order for 200 Riesling plants. Scott selected two Riesling clones for our vineyard, one German and another sourced from South Australia to create complexity in our wine. He also made sure there was no going back by having the cordon arms (basically the top part of the vine) sawn off a couple of rows of shiraz vines in readiness for grafting.

Last week the Riesling buds were top-grafted onto the vines and all going well, will start shooting over the next couple of months. This growing season we will train the vines, and have our first Riesling harvest the following vintage in 2012. We can already taste the apple and lime blossom.

Cheers, Tanya

A change of guard in the Tallis vineyard

[gallery columns="2"]Recently we farewelled Max Keele after 13 years with Tallis Wine. Max helped plant our original vines and has been a loyal, hardworking part of the team and guardian of the vineyard. We wish Max success as he moves on to other ventures.

As Consultant Viticulturalist we welcome Scott Feldtmann to Tallis Wine. With his many years of experience in local viticulture Scott will bring valuable knowledge and skills to our vineyard and his passion for minimal input viticulture marries well with the Tallis commitment to move towards organic viticulture.

Follow the season

Our vineyard changes dramatically with every season

From budburst and veraison through harvest to dormancy we will follow the season in the vineyard.

June 2009

The vineyard is once again a hive of activity. The vines are dormant during winter making June and July the optimum time for pruning. Grapevines are pruned for a number of reasons including maintenance of the vine shape and training system and selection of the fruiting wood however the main purpose is to regulate yields from the vine. If too many fruiting buds are left on a vine, the vine will try to produce too much fruit leading to overcropping. A consequence of this may be under-ripe fruit and dilution of flavour, aroma and colour.

At Tallis Wine we spur prune our vines. Two permanent cordons are trained along our trellis system, and along these cordons we remove the previous years fruiting canes which are two years old and any excess one year old canes. Fruit is only produced from the shoots that grow from one year old canes. Therefore we prune these one year old canes back to 2 buds per spur. This leads to production of 4 bunches per spur, so approximately 40 to 60 bunches per vine. We have found this yield just right for the age of our vines and our grapegrowing conditions.

May 2009

May is a fairly quiet time in the vineyard. Vintage is well and truly over in our region and the vines are turning golden and losing their leaves. We will be putting about 400 lambs into the vineyard in the next week or so to keep the Casino Dkaplan weeds under control, which is a far more preferable option than weedicides. Pre-pruning is due to start at the beginning of June. The vines are going into their dormancy stage, so we don't need to worry about water requirements now until the spring.