Although we had a patch of rain at the end of July, and some unseasonally cool weather, the vines continue to race ahead - we estimate they are somewhere between 10-14 days ahead of where they were at this stage last year. Reports from around Europe suggest early harvests everywhere, with some producers scrambling back from holidays and frantically contacting casual labour to prepare for the harvest.
Back in our little corner of the world, things are early, but we still have at least 7-8 weeks to go before the harvest for Sipon and Riesling - and a lot can change in that time. Above are samples of the grapes and the various stages that they are at - Laski Riesling on the left, then Sipon, then Muscat (the most evolved) and then...... an interloper! Some delicious Zweigelt (a clone between Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent) - there are a couple of random vines throughout the vineyard - all we have to do is try and keep the deer away from them!
A quick check back to some pictures from the same time last year shows huch much more evolved the grapes are at this point:
In particular, the Riesling is much more advanced, even though the vines are towards the bottom of the hill.
Fingers crossed for the next few weeks - just a little tweaking and then a lot of watching and waiting....