Pooley Wines – the growing season

Leaf Fall – April-May

Hand pruning the vines
Vines are hand-pruned and tied
in the autumn, in preparation
for the following spring

Leaf Fall, during April and May, is the start of the season. This is the time when the vine shuts down, after the harvest, and rests during the cold winter months.

The wines in the winery are fermenting or have finished fermenting. Now is when they are maturing.

Pruning is the most critical operation at this time of the year. It is when vine balance is assessed and the future crop level is established. It is critical to maintain balanced vines, to put them in a position to achieve optimal fruit quantity and quality in the summer. This is not a time to relax. The nets are packed away. Our vines are pruned by hand, the old growth is removed and the vines are tied onto the wire in preparation for spring. Soil testing is done and mulch is applied to the vine rows. Legumes are sown between the rows.

Our white aromatic wines are being prepared for bottling, and the other wines are tucked away in barrels or tanks.

Bud Burst – September

Bud Burst is brought on in September by the increase in daytime temperatures after a cold, wet and frosty winter. The new growth is a wonderful sight. Riding with it are hopes of a successful vintage.

The vines receive minimal sprays, some for disease, some for pests and some to help feed them over the growing stages. Irrigation may be implemented to supplement low winter or spring rainfall. The growth of the vines during this period is quick. Well-exposed new shoots are initiating their buds during this time.

The white wines are being prepared for bottling, fining, cold stabilising and filtering.

Flowering – January-February

Grapes flowering on the vines in summer
Grapes flowering on the vine
in summer

Flowering is the next critical time of the year. It is when the vines go into their reproductive stage. The weather conditions during January and February strongly influence the crop that will follow. Warm and settled conditions are paramount for a good fruit set. The fruit slowly develops and matures, with the flavours and acids evolving until the optimum levels are reached in time for the harvest.

This stage is frantic in the winery. The reds are taken out of the barrels and are prepared for bottling. Winery upgrades, or improvements and preparation for the following vintage, are also taking place.

Grapes after harvesting
Grapes after harvesting

Harvest – April to late May

Once the fruit is at optimal maturity and flavour – for their true varietal characteristics to be recognised – it is time for harvesting. This is another stage of the year when warm, settled, clear days are ideal for harvesting the fruit.

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