Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weddings and High Tech Vineyard Mowers!

Sunday here at the vineyard - a lovely mid-winter day; cold and clear.

We have had a lot of people through over the weekend looking at using the vineyard as a wedding venue - we have a lovely facility that seats up to 120 people for functions and wedding. We hosted 24 weddings last year, so it is an important part of our business activity. The cafe also operates from September to May and that also brings a lot of visitors as well.

Other than the wedding couples, it has been pretty quiet though - not many customers for Cellar Door, so a chance to catch up on the administration.

We have been letting our export customers know about the new wines and getting them up-to-date with what to expect when they see them. It reminded me that one of the big expenses for a winery is samples. We have to send them all over the world to new and prospective customers, as well as to wine critics and reviewers. The freight costs are enormous, but it’s just an expense we have to bear. And, if someone tastes and loves a wine, then it can lead to increased business.

In the vineyard next week, we will be preparing for pruning, which should start in a week or two. Pruning is not the favourite job: cold weather and sharp secateurs are a combination that makes for lots of small cuts, and winter is never the best time to be working outside either!

We have had a local farmer put his sheep into the vineyard for winter grass and weed control. This avoids using the tractor to mow grass which would compact the soils, and also saves a lot of money in fuel costs. And, the sheep fertilise as they go! I call them my high-tech vineyard mowers!!