Friday, December 30, 2011

Recovering the Shiraz Pots

Looks Like Nature Abhors Dieback
New Growth After Mildew Attack

I bought a "new" compound based on copper to fight the recent mildew attack on the Portable Vineyard vines,  notably, the Shiraz/Syrah vines. Since the first two sprays, separated by ten days as recommended, the old infected leaves and any new ones that have also been seen to be infected, have been removed by hand. This has been a painful lesson, as each vine has a few leaves... But what especially annoyed me last week was the rubbish collection service! The bin was emptied, but all the infected leaves and canes fell out as the truck emptying mechanism, or the operator, let leaves (and cat litter gravel and poo) actually spill over the street as it was emptied! Hmph!!

Anyway, it looks like the canes have enough energy to put new sprouts out on them all! There is still more to do, and I think a daily walk through the yard should keep the disease out!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

poor old shiraz

This weeks losers
a new borrowed cat

Pinot Noir, not bad

Garage Foxey grapes- look at the berries!

Should get about 30kg foxey grapes

Cemetary for goners

Only Shiraz doing ok

Woeful Syrah/Shiraz, pruned all mildew infected canes and removed as many leaves as possible

Thursday, December 15, 2011

looking for suggestions on mildew

If anyone has a treatment after mildew attacks the vines?

If you are up to date, then you know I have been treating the vines with sulphur and then copper the other day to fight off the Downy and powdery Mildew. I have not as yet identified which one, maybe ave both.

So have made the decision to prune the most infected canes or strip off the odd infected leaves.

The syrah/Shiraz is the most badly affected, and starting to look like no crop will eventuate at all. the clusters are nearly all affected, and looks horrible.

keeping them all together has been the worst mistake I have made this year for that variety. The Pinot and the Garage Grapes are doing fine, the odd spotted leaf or cluster removed here and there. Fingers Crossed everybody.

If you have some other suggestions, please let me know?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh woe is the Syrah

Wish I had more attention to detail
Or just followed a plan.

I did not follow the hints of spraying as soon as or even just doing it asap anyway when it was hot and slightly humid, rainy even. Woe to the beginner.

Last week I noticed that the shiraz/Syrah plants were getting slightly discoloured.
No seeing the humid conditions, or where the clusters were, Missed Out the chance to avoid the most horrible occurrence I have seen here- Mildew. Either Powdery or the other one Downy Mildew. Just thought that some fertilizer was required...

Looks like I did not follow the protocols, but fer shure, will be to protect the rest of the yard from now on with a regular spray weekly at least.

Looks like putting them together was the worst thing to do, but they were crowded due to lack of room in the first place, maybe the car will have to be exiled to the street...

I have yet to find right advice, but if all the clusters are buggered, will have to separate the pots and do a premature prune, leaving some foliage and hope that new sprouts will occur so they do not all die off

So for the other newbies, here is today's so sad pics of the shiraz yard:

 Almost all the shiraz clusters are affected, less than a few mm in diameter, and probably will have nothing left to harvest.
Compare these pics to earlier. I think these two should have some fruit:

The Pinot is affected slightly, one plant particularly, but I have cut it out of the herd for the moment. keeping a close eye on them all now!

The  Foxey Garage Grapes are fine, the berries almost 1cm!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Slack, and disaster in the offing

Waited too long
Spray Schedule amuck

The leaves of the Shiraz/Syrah plantation were looking funny the other day- say three days. Added a fishy fertiliser the next day- a cap full with 2L of water per plant, [and have to get more]. Yellowey, spotty maybe from a distance. Did not look closer at the future crop... Mistake.

We had had the wrong weather. Rain Humidity. Mild nights.

This added up to prime attack time of the Mildews.

I had tried to wait for 100% caps and bloom, but there was a mixed bag of development through the yard.
Hence I slacked off the sulphur and insecticides pre-emptive strikes too long.

And the yellow signs on the leaves by yesterday, Friday, and suspiciously, grey signs on the clusters hinted broadly at TOO LATE YOU IDIOT.

A mixture was made up , and sprayed, as the forecast was no rain as such over the weekend.

Saturday- further inspection- A repeat of last years lack of close attention.

The reminders was there- low productivity goes with low attention to detail.

This is not good, for the yard or my future careers in anything. I wonder how I am managing bringing up children or even coping with growing older myself!

Anyway, the spray regime will have to be upped, and weather conditions monitored closely.

The Pinot Noir looks okay, as does the Foxey Garage Grapes. Fingers crossed. The same with the greenhouse cuttings- a good spray on them all  should do the job.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Save

Just walking around the yard
Another reborn vine

My good friend Travis was down to stay a few days last week. He has been in on a few vintages, and has a little interest in the Portable Vineyard. 
He also loves the cat, and she loves him, specially when the brush comes out!

I showed him around the PV, and to my surprise, I found another vine regenerating! Two in a fortnight.

The vineyard is expanding incrementally as the adopted vines stir into life finally, and there are a few to go yet [fingers crossed]. There looks like some fungus growing on the little ones, and some on a really vigorous adoptee- which also looks suspiciously like a chardonnay bush after all!

Pictures this week:


Pinot Noir

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Lazarus Effect

Reviving slowly?
A catch up on some lucky lucky vines.

A walk around the vineyard tonight, and a vine I have nearly given up on has revived.
Depending on how the weather treats it, it may survive summer.
That makes five adoptees adapting to their new yard.
One has bountiful grapes-to-be, one is vigorous, and three maybe okay by next year.

The rest of the Portable Vineyard is very vigorous- looking just great.


Older Shiraz

Possible rivivees

Pinot Noir

lazarus A, B and C

Garage Foxey Grapes

Cuttings Collection

Close up on the lazarus vines

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Vines

Pinot Noir


2 years old
The imported

The Lazarus Vines

The best imported Vine

The Cemetary Vines

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

While the cat's away

The mice will play?
OR...Try to Party in my Cellar...

Without a corkscrew, thank goodness!
BUT- spoiled [the appearance] of some of my most prized possessions, the little shits.
AND. Where was the cat? Sneaking around angling for easy food? Or cuddle. Hmph.

cap crumbs below...

some of my own, next to the three hundred dollar case...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Foxey Grape Vintage 2011 Harvest

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Foxey Grape Vintage 2011

Da Da...

Picked the Foxy Garage Grapes yesterday, 33 kg at 22 Baume. Not sweet enough, but certainly STICKY!
The ants, bees and birds thought it was time to harvest, so I did. Bugger them!

So in the end, today, crushed and pressed about 15 liters out at 1.080sg, and have some pomace to distill too! I could not press out the skins 100%. Plenty of flesh, so what the? Added 2kg sugar and 2 liters water. That worked last year, terrible tasting, but enough % to put through the still!

So PMSd the must so to put commercial yeast in for the fermentation, and will let the pomace ferment off the indigenous yeast. 

Stay tuned- I intend to try a sherry variety this year!