It has been clear from the start that this was going to be a late harvest. So the vineyard work that we carried out earlier in the season has been crucial and as a result, thankfully, our vines and red grapes look really healthy as they creep closer towards ripeness. The photo, taken yesterday, shows the leaves all green and the grapes free of rot. For the time being, at least.
In particular, effective spraying against the threat of mildew and rot was important, and the effeuillage in July, or pulling the leaves away from the fruit zone by hand, has kept the bunches well-aired. If they had been encased in a damp canopy of leaves at this stage, the grapes would have little chance of ripening and rot could develop quickly. We nearly bankrupted ourselves with the cost of it all – we had a team of a dozen or so experienced seasonal workers at times (left) – but it now feels like it was a risk worth taking.
This morning was cold and drizzly, so we need the weather to cheer up.