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Buds burst in growth spurt at vineyard

On cue as the warmer weather arrives the buds have begun to burst and O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards has become a sea of green and the perfect place for a picnic.

Four thousand vines, a mix of Chambourcin and Semillon, are bursting with new growth that has to be seen to be believed – visitors to the Vineyard over the next couple of months will literally be able to watch the vines growing with verdant new shoots spurting up to 20cm per week.

The spectacular spring surge signals the countdown to harvest in late summer and early autumn next year with the hope for good spring and summer growing conditions to top a record harvest of 12.4 tonnes of Chambourcin and 7.2 tonnes of Semillon achieved earlier this year.

New Verdelho vines, which were planted out last spring, will also enjoy good growth, but won’t produce grapes for harvest until 2009, when a small yield of about 2.5 tonnes expected in the first vintage.

Vineyard Manager Arwen McGregor is eagerly anticipating the growth on the vines and the buzz of social activity at the winery during coming months.

“It is an exciting, but very busy time at the vineyard,” McGregor said.

“From this point on the vines require close tending as we manage the growth and try to ensure the fruit ripens evenly,” McGregor said.

“First the buds swell, burst and trigger the extraordinary growth of the canes on the vine. It is quite amazing to watch and happens virtually overnight.”

“Once the vines are advanced enough, we train and lift the canes on lift wires to allow the grapes to ripen and air to circulate around the vines. We put the vines on an intensive nutrition programme to keep them healthy. Flowers form, are pollinated and then grapes begin to form.”

In the kitchen, Chef Robert Wauters is making the most of fresh seasonal produce that spring delivers to tempt the tastebuds and match the fine wines on offer.

Open daily from 10:00am – 4:30pm, the O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard is a member of the Gold Coast Hinterland Wine Country group of seven wineries that form a wonderful trail for visitors interested in exploring the culinary delights of the region. Find out more at www.goldcoastwinecountry.com.au

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