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.

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.