Part of the joy of developing a new vineyard block is to intimately follow the progress of the young plants and to celebrate their different stages of development. I suppose it is very much the same pleasure that a parent gets whilst watching their offspring grow and evolve.
We were fortunate enough to obtain different clonal stock when we originally imported the Gruner Veltliner material into Australia and it is the developmental and growth differences between the various clones that is also very interesting to observe.
For example, one of the clones is clearly more vigorous than the others as judged by the size of its root system and its rate of growth, whilst another clone appears to be more ‘delicate’ and therefore more vulnerable during its early growth stages immediately after planting. It is these differences between the various clones that we will be monitoring over the years in order to make quality decisions in the future.
The first picture is just to give you an idea of how tiny and fragile the plant material was when we planted it out in the vineyard 12 weeks ago, in mid-October. The plantlings arrived in little seed trays and were then carefully transplanted out into the field.
Here is a pic shortly after plating in October. Note the amazing mineral quality of the soil with the abundant shale, ironstone and quartz chips. Double click on the image for greater detail.
This cheerful pic is of a young plant poking its nose over the protective guard 12 weeks after planting and is an example of a particularly vigorous clone that will definitely grow beyond the cordon wire during this first season of growth.
And finally, here is an overview of the recently planted vineyard block. Can’t wait for all the white planting guards to have a friendly tuft of Grunter waving through the top of each guard.