Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Conducting research

I'd been reading The Vineyard at the End of the World, by Ian Mount, and learning a lot about what not to do with vines and grapes and winemaking. It's a fascinating story about the Mendoza region of Argentina. But even more fascinating is the wine that resulted...Argentinian Malbec. I have already posted about this book before.

For centuries, Argentine wine was famously unpalatable — ­oxidized and drinkable only by Argentinians who were used to the potent grape juice. The Vineyard at the End of the World tells the often tedious four-hundred-year history of how a wine producing region arose in the high Andean desert.

Inspired by the success of California wines, a couple of maverick enologists decided to reproduce the success of the Americans by planting and creating Argentinian cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. They wisely decided that to play on the world stage you have to produce what they value first. After all, if their Californian and Chilean neighbours were being taken seriously, why couldn't they?

Monday, 29 August 2016

Microscopic grapes and progress in vines

Starting to look like a mini vineyard

I was tying up the vines, some of which have reached the top wire this year, when I noticed one vine choking it's grapes. The tendrils of one branch had curled around the babies and closed so tight they weren't able to breath. Naturally, I liberated the babies and tied up the vine, using bits of 'nylon' stockings as the ties. They work so well. They stretch forever and don't hurt a thing.