2011 Vineyard new season work has begins

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On the Vineyard the new season’s work has begun! This means spraying sulphur onto the emerging buds and rapidly growing canopy weekly, mowing between rows and around headlands, fertigation, shoot thinning and so on! Tony, vineyard worker, will be back soon and one of his important tasks is to keep those pesky rabbits in check.

Bannockburn, soils, climate, water.  The following extract from Soils for Horticulture CENTRAL OTAGO by PD McIntosh ( Scientist with Landcare Research New Zealand) explains a few of your questions about our site:

SOILS, AND CLIMATIC ZONES

“The Bannockburn Valley contains three areas with more than one thousand growing degree days (1000GDD)”.

Bald Hills is located within one of these favourable areas – “the slopes with northwesterly aspect between the Kawarau River and the Eastern Hill Country”.

Soils most suited to horticulture include the highly suitable Manuherikia soils of Bald Hills. These soils are moderately deep to deep fine sandy loam, accumulated as wind-blown loess over free-draining terrace gravels.

ALTITUDE
Around 200m above sea level.

RAINFALL
300-400 mm annually.

WATER SUPPLY
There is an abundance of water from the rivers and streams draining the surrounding mountains.  Bald Hills irrigates by means of drippers, each vine having its own dripper. A bore located within the Bald Hills property derives water from an aquifer some 30m deep.

Recent Awards Another award to our credit is a source of great pride.  Cuisine has awarded us 4.5 Stars for our “Single Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2010 – not long in the bottle so it promises great things though still very young. Did we tell you about Gold from the Australian Boutique Wine Awards?  That’s for the 2009 “Single Vineyard” Pinot Noir offered above. Awards must seem “a dime a dozen” to the casual observer.  Our policy is to enter only well-established competitions which are highly regarded amongst the wine cognoscenti.
The Tasting Room is open again 7 days a week from 11a.m until 5p.m. and it is usually Blair who is in attendance to talk about the wines and the vagaries of the season which produced them. Be sure to call in when you are here.

The good life at Bald Hills!  Sad to say those baby chickens turned out to be 3 roosters and 2 hens contrary to previous predictions. The roosters are practising crowing at present. They are teenagers so their voices are just a kind of strangled cry.

One of our great pleasures is strolling around the gravel paths. Daffodils,violets, hellebores, trilliums, some peonies, grape hyacinths and the early irises make you feel so happy! In the vegetable garden we have planted lettuce, beetroot, side-sprouting broccolli, baby cabbages, red onions, garlic, florence fennel and spinach. The strawberries are flowering and the raspberries and currants are not far off.