BY OUR RIDGEVIEW VINEYARD MANAGER MATT STRUGNELL
We were lucky the weather was kind to us for flowering which helps determine our crop size. This all happened towards the end of June and the bunches we now see are filling out with berries. August has been a bit hit and miss, so we have been working hard to keep the vine canopy neat and tidy; by tucking the shoots into foliage ‘catch’ wires, and by trimming the tops and sides.
Tidy vines make them look great, but it also plays an important role in helping our grapes ripen to a perfect condition. By keeping the canopy neat we are reducing shade and humidity which helps reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Also, the canopy is capturing as much sunshine as possible which is essential for ripening the crop.
Moving through August we have seen the start of another change, which is veraison. This is easy to spot on the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier as the skins start to change colour from green, through pink to red. By the time they are harvested they will have turned almost black. This is not so obvious in Chardonnay, but they will start to turn from green to a golden colour and the berries start to have a more translucent appearance.
The end of veraison signals the start of ripening, and therefore we are on the home run before harvest begins. This certainly won’t be like 2018 which has been described as a once in a generation year, however it is looking incredibly promising though!