I hope you had a great Christmas and that 2014 will be a good year for you.  My highlight in the hot Australian yuletide – ice cold Chardonnay on the deck and fish and chips.

But work in the vineyard is never far away and the countdown is on for veraison, the final sprays and the nets.  Before all of that – hedging.

Pinot Noir vines before hedging.

Pinot Noir vines before hedging.

The Pinot Noir has gone bonkers in the last few weeks, and needs to be reined in.  This helps get air into the canopy, sunlight to the grapes and gets rid of some diseased leaves (should they be present).

Pinot Noir after hedging.

Pinot Noir after hedging.

Voila! So much better.  Actually it’s an exhausting job.  The big vineyards use a tractor based cutting machine.  Doing it with a hand held hedge trimmer starts out being quite fun and ends with a visit to a chiropractor.

And then I blasted it with Phos using the fan assisted super spray machine.

I’m not sure what this vintage is going to be like.  We had a hot November, then a very cool and wet December, and January hasn’t given us much warmth so far either.  I hope it’s not another 2011.

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