Time now for a quick status check on how my vines are progressing. As I write, the weather has clouded over but has lost little of the warmth, and days are regularly seeing temperatures in the low twenties. We had two days of rain last week which was the first of any consequence in quite a while. The end of June / start of July is home to two British institutions both known as much for what they are, as for the impact of the usual rain, but music fans at the Glastonbury festival didn’t need their wellies this year. Similarly, the Wimbledon tennis championship keeps a day clear (middle Sunday) to allow matches to catch up from rain delays. This year, it wasn’t needed. On to the vines themselves.
Furthest along is my Catarratto, which continues to show good vigour, and is now in the late stages of flowering. My Chardonnay continues showing its characteristic high vigour with vines going off in all directions, and the Ortega has grown slightly, albeit still far behind the other varieties. My concern with these latter two now focuses on the fact that they are not showing any signs of late flowering. Both are early budding and early ripening, so well suited to our cooler climate, but with only approximately 12 weeks to go until harvest, I think they should be more advanced by now (especially with the warm weather we’ve been having). As the vines are not yet 3 years old, perhaps there will be a limited crop from them this year, and I will concentrate on the older Catarratto vines.
Also of interest is that the Ortega shows a white powder on its leaves which quickly disappears once they are full exposed. Detailed growing notes on this variety are a little hard to find, so I’m not sure if that’s a well-known characteristic, but hopefully it is nothing to worry about and, apart from some darkening of some of the older leaves (due to water stress), the vine looks healthy. I’m definitely going to step up the watering at this crucial time as the weather forecast for the next few weeks is still warm, if not sunny.