It's all happening at Huntington
Enough already of my ravings, it's time instead to tell you all about what we’re doing at Huntington Estate. I promise I’ll get good and riled up in the next newsletter but I have so much good stuff to tell you now.
Winter pruning is finished. We’re largely doing it in house this year and it’s a huge job for Vineyard Manager Paul and his offsider Brad - they’ve got the Popeye forearms to show for it. It takes between 5 and 10 minutes to prune a vine, and we’ve got 15,000 of the gnarly old things – it’s hard and repetitive but good cane and bud selection, and clean cutting, require concentration and experience. Poor pruning can damage a vine long term and result in yields that are either too high (resulting in a dilution of quality) or too low (not enough wine – oh the horror!!).
All the long range forecasts say we will get another hot and dry season, and this time we’re ready for it. Our irrigation is in tip-top condition, we’ve doubled the capacity of our main dam by digging out tonnes of mud and reeds, much to the delight of our resident toddler and Labrador who apparently share a love of mud. We’ve been over every inch of pipe, checked each and every dripper and replaced generators and pumps.
Phase 1 of our 3-Year Vineyard Renewal program is underway. We’re investing now to increase the amount of reserve grade fruit in the vineyard and to ensure that even in the harsh Australian climate we always have old but productive vines. We’ve just taken 3000 cuttings of our famous Block 3 Cabernet and Block 2A Shiraz vines to callus over winter and plant in October in the adjacent blocks which we’ve left fallow for a season. In about ten years, I’ll have more fruit to play with!
In the winery, in addition to tending to the 2013 and 2014 reds, and bottling and labelling the whites, we’re pulling the museum shed apart and putting it back together again in a more ordered fashion so we know exactly what treasures we have among the cobwebs and dust. Be nice to me (by which I mean buy lots of wine) and I might share some more…! All that’s on top of a really good post vintage clean up and fulfilling your most welcome orders.
The 2014 whites are looking absolutely fantastic in bottle - I am particularly proud of the 2014 Semillon which has succulent acid, perfectly balanced with elegant fruit. It will definitely be a great ager.
Preparation for our 25th Huntington Estate Music Festival this November began before the 24th had finished, but begins in earnest now for what will be a huge week of music, wine, food, friendship and joy.
So you can see we’ve all been working hard, and loving it. Time to go and clean up the dog and Freddy.