Friday, October 22, 2010

Meanwhile in the vineyard...


In spring, we see the first shoots appearing on the vines, and they curl to catch the sun.

With the wet conditions we have had there is an even and strong budburst. Many vines are actually pushing extra buds from their cordons. We call these watershoots, or non-count shoots. The 'jargon' term watershoots is due to the thought that wet weather promotes these shoots, the scientific term non-count shoots relates to the fact the pruner 'didn't count on them bursting!'

McLaren Vale has been having a 'typical spring' where the region has warm and fine weather, interrupted by periods of rainfall. Both rain and shine are welcomed by the vines (and the locals.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seaford Rise Protest - Winemaking Behind the Lens.


The Seaford Heights development is located at the entrance to the gateways to the tourism regions of McLaren Vale, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. The land adjoins the beginning of the vineyards of the town of McLaren Vale on the Victor Harbor Road and the open spaces of South Road.


"It is the point where suburbia fades away and the holiday experience begins for more people than any other region in South Australia," says wine writer Phillip White.


"Urban sprawl is a worldwide disease, and Australia should be able to manage it far better than it does. Too many wine regions with high quality wines and tourism/lifestyle opportunities fall to ticky-tacky houses and shopping malls. Southern Vales has gone this way. It would be a travesty for the few undeveloped but high quality vineyard areas in McLaren Vale to follow suit," says wine scribe James Halliday.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back in the swing of it... Rocks ain't rocks.


So far so good! Lovely strong growth on the vineyard. The vines are enjoying the moisture from the wettest winter we have had in a long time.

Today I have been out digging in the vineyards of the Sellicks foothills.

Sellicks is farthest point south of the region directly overlooking the ocean beaches - think the Victory Hotel and you understand where I mean.

These foothills extend the length of the base of the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges.

The strip of soil here, mostly red loam, has been eroded from these ranges and has pieces of rock mixed into the soil. These rock shards are limestone and dolomite from the Normanville Group of Cambrian Age geology (520 million years old) and older Neoproterozoic Wilpena Group (600 million years old) which is mainly sandstone and quartzite.

This means the area has thin soil and old rocks, which are conducive to small grape crops. The higher the vineyard on the hills the thinner the soil and the harder the vines have to work to produce their crop.

The old rocks also make digging a bit harder.

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Tractor Action - 31st of October.

Dear friends and collegues,

McLaren Vale is at risk of being swallowed up by the suburbs of Adelaide our
food and wine culture is threatened.

The council has said no to Seaford Heights, but the state government is
indifferent to our concerns and there are plans for more subdivision at
Bowering Hill / Maslins Beach in the future.

YOU CAN MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Our region needs proper planning, not a
system of sprawl out and build services later.

A community event is being planned for Sunday the 31st of October - 'Tractor
Action'. This is a tractor rally down the main street of McLaren Vale -
culminatating in a party at Paxton's Cellar Door.

I believe this is a good way for your voice to be heard I have put up my
hand to help organise.

Do you know someone who can be part of the tractor rally?

We are assembling at 9:30 - 10:00am at the McLaren Vale Oval before
traveling to Paxton's cellar door.

Invitations are for licensed tractors only. We will be working with the
Police on the day to make this a safe event.

Can you help?

To RSVP your road licensed tractor please reply to james@djsgrowers.com.au and I will
let you know more details.