The past month has been really hectic, again. We have had lots of wine orders and in between labelling, invoicing and packing, the vineyard has kept us very busy; especially because the weather has been wonderful. I find that when I am working in the vineyard on such lovely days my head gets filled with all sorts of ideas and plans. Some of these come to fruition and others not, but there is definitely something very inspiring about working in such a beautiful environment with only the birds, sheep and dog around you. (Photo at right is of our dog having a rest after having a bit of a run up the steep hill!)
The pruning is coming along nicely and so far, I have kept up to James' pruning with my own tie-ing on of the vines. There is still a lot of mowing to be done unless we let the sheep in for a bit to get the grass down a little but we are going to have to be quick as the stems are starting to drip with sap so that means bud-burst is not far away (the Barossa floor has already had bud-burst on some of their vines). If you look at the photo of the vine you can just see a little drop at the end of the stem. Once this starts, and the weather is warm (and our August has, I think, been the warmest on record!) it doesn't take long for the canes to get brittle and much harder to wrap (and tie on) around the wires.
Perhaps the only thing that ruins my afternoons on the hill with my loyal offsider (the black one) is the swooping magpies who are most unimpressed at this time of year. This week I have been harassed constantly by a large magpie and thus have been unable to use my mp3 player (it pays be to be able to hear the "whoosh" and accordingly "duck" as opposed to just feeling it attacking your head, from behind of course:) Never a dull moment no matter what part of the job you are doing. But still, it really is one of my favourite times of year. Everything is so pretty out here in the Barossa Ranges right now that you cannot help but feel that despite the hard work, it really is worth it.