October – Die mooiste mooiste maand
There is a poem in Afrikaans describing how October is the most gorgeous month of the year. This certainly rings true for the farm as well. October brings with it a surprise of wild flowers in every nook and cranny. The insects awaken from their winter slumber to take full advantage of the splendor and food offered by the multitude of plants. The cows are starting to give birth and everything seems ready to celebrate the beginning of the new life that comes with spring.
On the farm
Winter rains ensured that the winelands are once more sporting its green jacket and that the vines are ready to start producing the promise of next year’s harvest. The temperamental climate of spring can however cause a bit of havoc in the vineyard. Very hot days followed by the occasional bout of rain creates the perfect breeding ground for downy mildew, a condition that affects the buds of the vines and that can lead to a total destruction of the harvest. There are two solutions – topical pesticide or the more drastic treatment that requires the soil to be treated. The latter can result in the grapes eventually carrying some residual pesticide (albeit negligible). Going the topical route does however require a number of applications, especially following a day or two of renewed rain, but for us it is better than the alternative.
And in other news
End of year functions, Christmas Gifting and all the fun that comes along with the silly season are creating interesting opportunities for the wine merchants. If you are planning a trip down to the winelands during the festive season be sure to do some research beforehand to make sure that your favourite spot will be open on the days when you are planning a surprise visit.