Autumn in the Vineyard

Autumn Almanac

From the dew-soaked hedge creeps a crawly caterpillar
When the dawn begins to crack, it’s all part of my autumn almanac
Breeze blows leaves of a musty-colored yellow
So I sweep them in my sack, yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac

Friday evenings, people get together
Hiding from the weather, tea and toasted
Buttered currant buns, can’t compensate
For lack of sun because the summer’s all gone

Weather

Well the rains finally came! December brought 12 rainy days and 66mm, whilst January saw 75mm on 11 rainy days. All of a sudden disease in the vineyard becomes the concern and with the warmer days we were attacked suddenly by Vine Moth caterpillars! However the last few days of January have seen some cooler evenings and milder daytime temperatures and thankfully reduced humidity. Perfect conditions heading into vintage.

Veraison & Ripening

Veraison where the berries begin to soften and change colour occurred over the New Year period, and ripening has been really accelerated this year. The merlot was checked in the last week of January with the baume sitting at 11-12 and the pH at 3.21. Another couple of weeks will see this ready to pick a month ahead of usual. The shiraz and cabernet are also well advanced and it’s looking as though all the grapes will be harvested by early March!

Back to the Quirky Autumn of 1967…

The Kinks with a song “Autumn Almanac” inspired by a local hunch-backed gardener of the Muswell Hill neighbourhood of North London…

 

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