The days are getting shorter, and wine harvest is upon us early this year, in the dry but still beautiful Pokolbin. Long stretches of near 40 degree days have upped the sugar content and the Shiraz grapes are burgeoning a deep purple – almost black – on the vines. We are waiting with baited breath for Matt from Gundog Estate to give the nod and the harvesters will move in.
This year I hope to try something different and, after experimenting with our wine and garlic over summer – the Shiraz pickled garlic cloves are sweet, crunchy and divinely red-wine-ly mild – the Shiraz cheese paste is, in the words of trusted friends, to die for – and the six varieties of black garlic are slowly transforming in my slow cooker into dark cloves of deliciousness. We plan to bring all these products to our customers later in the year.
Wine harvest also means autumn is fast approaching and it’s time we finished prepping the soil for our garlic planting. Craig has fine tuned the furrow maker and planting tubes, so hopefully this year will be a little less backbreaking. The organic hay mulch has been ordered and the soil has been tested by Kate from Petrik to confirm what bio-dynamic trace elements we need to add.
The garlic seed stock is sitting in the tack shed, amongst the horse gear, to keep it cool and breezy and the cow peas are waiting to be hoed in to increase the soil nitrogen. This week is a gentle lull before the storm, in which to enjoy the last hazy days of summer.
Here’s to great wine, food and friends.