Primary producers are subject to the uncontrollable elements of nature and viticulture is no exception. The dormancy of vines through the cooler months of the year affords some protection against winter chills and further allows hard pruning of canes and spurs with minimal impact on the plants’ metabolism. With the arrival of spring…. longer daylight and steadily increasing warmth, the plants ‘wake up’ and begin a new cycle of growth. The climatic change stimulates leaf bud burst producing soft, tender foliage tissue, highly susceptible to the prevalent frosty conditions at night at this time of year.
To assist the Turners Crossing vineyard team in managing such conditions, an online weather station has been created with direct links to the physical site. This allows valuable data including air temperature, relative humidity and rainfall to be monitored and recorded, providing vital information about what is happening at any point in time and subsequently to create a profile that enables staff to plan ahead.
Early Spring Recipe
Saumon aú Crumble
Turners Crossing Viognier
- 500g spinach leaves
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 750g Salmon
- 250ml crème fraiche
- 150g butter
- 300g plain flour
- 100g parmesan
- salt, pepper, spice
Mix the butter, flour, salt, pepper and parmesan and rub to form a crumble.
Heat the spinach and chopped onions until soft.
Grease a gratin dish. Mix the crème fraiche with the dill, salt and pepper.
Cut the salmon into large pieces and layer the spinach with the fish and pour the crème fraiche mix over the top.
Finally, sprinkle the crumble mix over the top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 2000C for 15-20 mins until crumble begins to brown.
Serve with a glass of exquisite Turners Crossing Viognier!!
What’s happening in the Vineyard? ...
Spring has most definitely arrived in the vineyard and with the bud-burst and development of the new, soft foliage comes the inherent risk of frost damage. Warmer and longer days stimulate growth, but the nights remain cool at Serpentine, often dropping below 00C. This effectively means that pumps, filters, spray nozzles and water supply all need to be available and functioning properly to avoid that soft tissue damage that can be so devastating so early in the growing season.
In addition to the concerted efforts to protect the vines from frost, the vineyard team have been busy applying sulfur sprays; the initial spray prior to bud-burst to prevent rust mite attack and a secondary application at lower concentration just after leaf appearance to minimise powdery mildew. The machinery used to apply these ‘gentle’ treatments is highly specialised as shown in this photo.
The vineyard is about to explode into mass production and the team will have their work cut out for them in the ensuing months as foliage fills out and fruit begins to form. In the meantime, they need to keep their eyes peeled and wits about them as the serpents also spring to life and full activity at ground level! Beware the brown snakes!.......