From flowers to fruit…

Vineyard / Thursday, November 14th, 2019

Now that you know all about flowering (because you all read last week’s post, right?) let’s catch up on what is going on in that little test plot of vines.

And let me tell you, it is getting very exciting…

Because this week, all the varieties are flowering and we’re starting to see the first berries!

These photos were taken on Monday 11th November. You notice that our focus has now changed from the development of the canopy (the leaves etc.) to the bunches…


Cabernet Sauvignon






Check out those berries!



Sauvignon Blanc





Before we go on, for those of you concerned for my well-being… that is not my hand near those ominous-looking spider webs. You wouldn’t catch me ANYWHERE near them!

And the numbers…

(remember to check back here to follow along with the E-L stage definitions)

Variety Growth stage (no. of leaves)

28th October

Growth stage

11th November

Shiraz EL19 (20) EL25
Cab Sauv EL15 (8) EL23
Tempranillo EL16 (9) EL26
Sangiovese EL23 50% capfall (17-20) EL27
Merlot EL15 (8) EL25
Grenache EL16 (9) EL23
Chardonnay EL23 50% capfall (17-20) EL29
Semillon EL16 (9) EL23
Sauv Blanc EL15 (8) EL25
Vermentino EL16 (9) EL26
Fiano EL19 Caps loosening (16) EL25
Riesling EL20 1st cap fall flowers (16) EL27


The growth stage EL27 signifies the stage at which the vine sets fruit. So, you can see that Sangiovese and Riesling have reached this critical stage. Chardonnay is just that bit further advanced (as you can see from the photos).

And remember, that’s all happened in just two weeks!

You may be wondering why I’m not talking about the number of leaves anymore. From this point on in the growing season, the growth stage is measured by the size and development of the berries. At this stage, that’s where the majority of the vine’s energy resources are being directed.


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Some news on the growing season in the Adelaide Hills…

Last week in the Adelaide Hills the most advanced vines were at around EL21. So, still a way off fruit set. But if we can improve on the weather we’ve had lately then they won’t be too far behind.

Cold snap

Other than one warm day this week we’ve had some very un-November like weather here in the Hills of late. The average daily temperature was 7°C below the previous week! After a relatively warm start to the season, the cooler temperatures appear to have caused a significant slowing in the rate of development. Despite these extremes, this season is still slightly ahead of the previous three seasons. So nothing to worry about!

Strong winds

We’ve had some pretty nasty winds around during the last few weeks. In particular, the strong winds during Wednesday and Thursday last week have caused some damage to exposed vines. According to last week’s Crop Watch report, wind damage has been reported throughout the district and ranges from complete shoot loss to rubbing/snapping of shoots against the wires they are growing along.

Not only is the wind causing physical damage to the vines, but it also causes the shut down of photosynthesis.

Excuse me while a get a bit technical for a second…

Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants use sunlight to create nutrients from carbon dioxide and water. It’s those nutrients which promote the growth of vines and development of berries.

It’s the water bit of that equation that is important here. Wind causes water to evaporate more rapidly. So, the vine compensates by shutting down any processes that use up water.

The prolonged periods of windy weather coupled with the fact that vines generally take around 24 hours to recover, means that there has been considerable downtime in active photosynthesis in the last two weeks. This is of concern as the final stages of flower development are dependent on the carbohydrates produced through photosynthesis.  However, once conditions settle, vines will return to full activity. We’ve had much lighter winds over the last week so things should be well and truly back on track now.

Fingers crossed we have some nicer weather on the way. Not only would our vines appreciate it, but we’re running out of wood for the fire!

Champagne Shopping Morning

Don’t forget to book your tickets… we have only a few left! Available to Club Members only. x

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