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Central Otago Update - Golden Terraces Vineyard, August 2012

Golden Terraces Vineyard, August 2012

Pruning began 1st week of June. We adopted a slight change to past seasons with “crew” numbers which resulted in a smaller precise crew being employed – 7 people in total. This seemed a huge task as we have 91ha to prune but the rationale behind it was to allow the crew to have continuous work through to end of September (or thereabouts), along with the major fact that the supervision of this small crew would result in the job being conducted nearly to 100% of expectation.

Weather at this time of the year always has a huge impact on productivity & morale – past seasons have been recorded where we have periods of up to three weeks with no visual vitamin “D” – the sun!! Well no surprise but early July delivered the norm. For seven days our average daily temperature was negative 2 degrees Celsius!!! Tough going for the crew!! However, since then we have now had a truly spectacular run of great sunny weather, cold frosty starts, but day temperature rising to the mid “teens” – quite surreal. Some days we have seen a temperature difference of 14-15 degrees. The vineyard turns into a “clothesline” – three layers of warm winter clothes become removed to one as the day warms with the layers being “hung” on the wires in each person’s row. One has to remember where your clothes are as retrieval by end of day is a necessity – the three layers will be needed for the start of “tomorrow”

Productivity is on schedule, we should complete our cane pruned portion of the vineyard by 3rd week of August [58ha] with the 33ha of spur pruned area to complete the season. Tractor mulching of the pruning’s is an annual task – one that is only conducted once the crew have completed a sizable area.

Central Otago has a “unique” rabbit problem, this year being no exception – quite the reverse. Regional Council conducted a “count” of rabbit numbers & our local area, Bendigo, was instructed that a poisoned 1080 carrot drop would be requirement – cost to the relevant land owners. Two dummy carrot drops are done a week apart with the third being the poisoned carrot. This drop was done at the start of the month (see photo). The weather is imperative, which delivered. The following day, the rabbit numbers was the difference between night & day – great result for all. The poisoned carrots are applied by aircraft, efficient way of covering a large area of undulating terrain.

Ducan Cramp, Central Otago Vineyard Manager

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