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Gibbston Valley’s School House vineyard, in the Bendigo area, grows Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris on light sandy soils.

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Cultivation, cost, irrigation: A tour of organic conversions in Central Otago

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture On the 20th of February, the Organic Focus Vineyard field day was held in Central Otago as part of a larger Organic Winegrowers field day. In 37deg heat, winegrowers gathered in Bendigo to first have a walk through the biodynamic Quartz Reef vineyard under the tutelage of […]

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Nutrition through the season; more conversion plans

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture The latest field day at the School House vineyard saw a good, albeit lower-than-usual turnout of 30 people. Perhaps a sign of the season as much as anything (with everyone preoccupied in their vineyards) – the vines seem to be growing before our very eyes after a […]

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Undervine & cover crop experiments, early spring

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture The quiet ebb of winter has allowed the project team at School House vineyard some time to reflect on the last two seasons of conversion and plan towards the forthcoming one. We’ve decided to implement a more intensive management strategy, both in terms of the timing of […]

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Happy harvest; and handling vigour in organic conversion

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture The growing season leading up to harvest in Central Otago – like much of the country – was dry. Spectacular, but dry. Our irrigation stations at the School House vineyard were on 24/7 for several weeks during and after veraison, in a bid to keep up with […]

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Equipment, irrigation regimes, buckwheat & vigour comparisons

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager The field day at School House vineyard on Tuesday the 12th of February provided an opportunity for growers from around the region to see various forms of machinery in action that are typically used on organic vineyards. Under-vine cultivators, inter-vine mowers, silerators, compost spreaders and other bits and pieces […]

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Flowering and vigour differences

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Gibbston Valley Wines The second half of December has seen warmer, more settled weather finally arrive, with a string of days boasting maximums above 25oC. Flowering at our School House vineyard began in mid December, about ten days later than the previous year. The flowering has also seemed somewhat […]

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Southern Spring: frosts, sward, and sowing

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture Despite an early budburst in Central Otago, time and growth seemed to almost stand still as cold, wet, dreary weather descended during October. By the end of the month, there were predictions that we were almost two weeks behind, which was exacerbated by the cold snap and […]

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First season reflections: undervine life and disease pressure in Central Otago

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture We were blessed with an Indian Summer for our autumn harvest, with idyllic weather for the duration. Early botrytis pressure from the rains in February/March had largely disappeared, though it was evident during harvest that the Pinot Gris suffered more than the Pinot Noir. Interestingly, the conventional […]

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Erosion, irrigation, & growth: comparing organic & conventional

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Gibbston Valley Wines School House Vineyard The latest field day at the Central Otago Focus Vineyard on Wednesday the 7th of March followed on from a series of rainfalls in January and February. Almost half of the annual rainfall for the region occurred over six weeks, with three particular events […]

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