Newsletters

Spring 2014

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In the 2014 Spring Newsletter

– Frost – Foe or Friend
– Vintage Birds
– The hat fits us and we will wear it!
– Waste not Water
– From the Prescription Pad

 

 

Lichen growing on the gnarled head of an old pinot noir vine.

 

 

 

In the 2014 Autumn Newsletter

Autumn 2014

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In the 2014 Autumn Newsletter

– Authentic Roots
– Vintage Vagaries?
– Pegasus Bay - 2013 Winery of the Year
– Replenishing the Restaurant
– Doing the Tornado Twist
– From The Prescription Pad
– Current Vintages/Releases

 

 

 

 

 

 


Summer 2013/2014

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In the 2013 / 2014 Summer Newsletter

– New Heads for Old
– Changing Kitchens
– Just Hanging About
– From The Prescription Pad
– Current Vintages/Releases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Spring 2013

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In the 2013 Spring Newsletter

– The Pruning Puzzle

– Pegasus Pastimes

– Restore Yourself At The Restaurant

– Trifling With Truffles

– From The Prescription Pad

– Current Vintages/Releases

 

 

 

 

 


2013 Autumn

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The Party - Going Night Reveller

It is late spring and your vineyard looks perfect with its bright, shiny new green leaves and its tiny grape flowers (inflorescences) about to open. You sit outside in the balmy evening toasting your success at having escaped the spiteful hand of Jack Frost for yet another year and, while you are about it, you also ask the gods to send you a warm summer and long dry autumn. You have a peaceful sleep through the warm calm night and arise refreshed, looking forward to the new day’s challenges in the vineyard. A nasty shock awaits you. Your leaves have gone. Someone or something as stolen them during the night! Closer inspection reveals that the thieves have left you something to remember them by, a few skeletons, leaf skeletons that are composed of the veins or ribs of the leaves. Who or what were they? If you search along the rows you will find a clue. Suspended in a gossamer thin web, surrounded by sparkling droplets of dew, lies the lifeless body of a robber that did not manage to get away. It was caught in the act before being sucked dry. It is a little beetle, a bronze beetle, also known as a night beetle. And that is how it happens, literally overnight and on a warm calm night. These greedy little fellows can wreak havoc on a plot of grape vines...


Summer 2012/2013

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It’s A Bleeding Miracle

If you were found to be unresponsive with a freshly amputated limb, exposed dry flesh and no sign of bleeding you would doubtless be pronounced dead. There are, however, reports of dead things bleeding or even crying. People have sworn to have seen stigmata bleeding on statues of Christ and effigies of the virgin moist with tears. Such rare happenings have been called miracles. There is a more commonplace event that has certain similarities.


2012 Spring

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Smelling and tasting terroir

When living in a multi-national institution you become aware that other ethnic groups have their own distinctive aromas while your own has no odour at all. It’s not that you don’t have a smell, but simply that you become so used to it that you fail to appreciate it.

2012 Autumn

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Is winemaking science or art? Traditionally it was all art, but over the last 50 years it has become very scientific. Most winemakers have a university degree or diploma with a solid framework of science. These days all winemakers depend on some scientific measurements, even if they are only the levels of sweetness and acidity in grape juice.


2011 Summer

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Bumping Off the Bumper Crop

Most farmers and horticulturists dream of having a bumper crop. For us, however, it is more of a nightmare. What is a bumper crop and why don’t we want it? The ancient term comes from a toasting glass filled to the brim. You had to clink or bump it without the cup running over. Big crops and quality wine are such uneasy bedfellows that they seldom sleep together. Part of the problem is getting the grapes fully ripe. However, even if you manage to tick the right boxes in terms of the concentration of sugars, acids, etc, the wines tend to be wishy-washy, lacking real concentration, flavour and zest. It seems as if the vines can only produce certain amounts of these less measurable things and a big crop just dilutes them. We spend a lot of effort trying to get small sized crops of small berries, which are what our winemakers dream about. Why small berries? Because the juice itself lacks flavour and most of it is in the skin. The bigger the grape, the bigger the ratio of juice to skin flavour.

2011 Winter Newsletter

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What is sustainable? A glance at the dictionary will tell you that ‘sustain’ means to keep going or to give support. Applied to agriculture and horticulture, however, sustainable also implies being best practice, safe and environmentally friendly.

 


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