Autumn River

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Autumn River Vineyard

At the far north end of the farm there is a gap of about 12 metres between the poplar shelterbelt and the back irrigation race, which we can't develop for treecrops. A Waimak DC bylaw requires us to build nothing within one metre of the race and nothing taller than 1.5 metres within 10 metres of the race. Accordingly, we offered the space to James for a trial vineyard (on the understanding he would keep them below 1.5 metres, which should be fine for vines).
In August 2005 we brought in a contractor to rip two lines along the length of the vineyard, and the loyal crew (Sarah, Malcolm, James, Carla, Mike and Holly-dog) duly planted 200 rieslings on a rootstock which James had determined would be best for the conditions.
Ripping, 7 August 2005Ripping, 7 August 2005

Grape vine - pretty scrawny at planting time

The vines were scrawny wee things when they went in, and didn't show any signs of action for quite a long time afterwards. However, by the time of the wedding (November) they were starting to show some activity.

The grape vines continued to develop slowly over the summer, with a burst of growth in February making them very respectable indeed. These vines have no supplementary irrigation, except what is occasionally applied by hand. We are hoping that the proximity to the irrigation race will give them enough water to survive, but not enough to keep them completely satisfied (they have to work hard in order to produce good wine grapes, I understand).

24 December 200514 January 200612 February 2006