Elvis, Vines, Verdicchio and Lycra – What a Week

11.26am, Monday 10th January 2011, Yalumba Clocktower, Angaston, Barossa Valley
Ok folks, I have a few things to catch you up on this morning:

First up, I know you’ll be itching to find out what went on in Parkes with the world record attempt to get the most number of Elvises in one place. We needed 646 of them, and we got 540 – plus a stack of Priscillas! So they belted out “Love Me Tender”, but the record stays with Las Vegas. It will all be on next year though, as they have another go, so leave that weekend free and get to Parkes!

As people come back to work after their holidays, one of the good things is that I’m getting to catch up on what’s going on in the various parts of the winery and vineyards. The big story on the vines side of things is the downy mildew situation – we had another weather warning to growers over the weekend. As far as we at Yalumba are going, we’ve been really vigilant with the old fashioned sulphur and copper approach. So even though we’re getting the odd humid days and spot rains, the evenings have been mostly clear with the last two nights having solid cool south easterley winds to keep the air moving. And that means “so far – so good” for us.

Talking to the gals down at the Nursery – there’s always something interesting going on down there. Ninian has got a mist propagation project going on to grow up some Verdicchio rootlings to be planted out later this year. Verdicchio is a high acid white grape from the central region of Italy, and we’ll be keen to see how that goes in our world.

One thing I have to fix sooner rather than later is a visit to Coonawarra and Wrattonbully. I didn’t get down there at all last year, and I’ve asked Pete “Mr Menzies Coonawarra Cabernet” Gambetta – the winemaker for just about everything down that way – if I can hitch a ride with him next trip. Looks like we’ll be planting some Malbec down there for Pete to play with, so that will be a good one for me to track from the start.

***Down in the main street of Tanunda having coffee yesterday morning, we saw the first of the Tour Down Under teams of Lycra-clad pushbike warriors up here in the Barossa training for Stage 1. This is the 138 km leg Tuesday January 18th – that starts down in Adeliade, comes up through the Hills, then does a couple of laps through the Valley – Tanunda to Nuriootpa to Angaston – finishing in our main street mid afternoon. This team whizzed through the town in tight formation – looked like the French AG2R folk by the cappucino coloured Lycra shorts thay had on. So I suspect this is the start of it all: pushbikes, Lycra, Lance Armstrong, Delhi Commonwealth Games star local boy Jack Bobridge … it’s all going to be happening up here in Angaston!

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