Shoot growth is starting to develop rapidly so all hands turn to shoot positioning and lifting the foliage wires. Shoot thinning is also carried out at this time to ensure the appropriate number of shoots per vine (too many and the canopy will become excessively shaded with increased disease risk and crops potentially too high).

The arduous job of bud rubbing (removal of lower shoots down the trunk) is started, and combined with some hand weeding, takes a toll on the back. The cover crops will require a mow and the mowings are put under the vines then worked into the soil with the next weeding pass. Spring sown vegetables are starting to come on, so salads and greens are filling sandwiches at lunch time.

The goat kids are growing larger by the day and are a joy to hear bleating from the hillsides. We have 17 this year, so plenty of goat meat by the autumn.

Roadsides are full of California poppies and the thyme is in full flower. In the cellar we can hear the steady ticking of the 2019 Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays going through their malo. Fishing season has started, so maybe some trout on the menu along with the spring rabbits: both ideal served with the Block 2 Chardonnay!

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