Hahndorf Hill Gruner Veltliner under cover

There are two things that I dread the most above all – one is the winter solstice, when the shortest day and longest night is celebrated each year. This is because I’m essentially a winter person and the winter solstice marks the point from which the unrelenting downhill trudge towards summer begins.

Second on my dread list is having to put out the bird netting each year in the vineyard. I love the birds, that’s why we use bird netting to protect the grapes rather than gas guns or other guns. But this love has a high price to pay, which is the extremely arduous task of ‘rolling out them nets.’

Can you imagine what it is like to have to cover 15 acres of land with nets? I start perseverating about this upcoming task from about July every year, knowing that by end January, then nets will have to go on. But once the nets are on, my heart soars and I can really begin to enjoy the lead up to harvest!

This is the sweet spot where I now find myself. The damn nets are on – see pic below – and I can now relax and wander through this netted wonderland, and monitor the progress of the slowly ripening grapes.

Hahndorf Hill gruner veltliner under netting

Bird netting over part of the Hahndorf Hill vineyard

The Gruner Veltliner is looking excellent as it moves into veraison, although it is still far too green at this stage to have any flavour development. We do, however, have an exciting project planned in conjunction with the local uni, which is to monitor the levels of rotundone in the Gruner juice. Rotundone is the sesquiterpene compound that is associated with the peppery quality found in Gruner Veltliner and we are hoping to discover at which stage of ripening this compound is most prevalent. We will also be looking at the different clones of Gruner Veltliner that I have planted to evaluate whether there is a quantitative difference in rotundone levels.

Sesquiterpine compound levels aside, I’m looking forward to a wonderful Gruner harvest late in March this year so do watch this blog for further updates!

For pre-release allocations of our GRU 2013, and further information, please go to http://bit.ly/ilfxBa

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