Growing Wine Grapes In Tasmania

Growing Grapes

We have plenty of wild concord grapes on ourproperty. However, the insurance company doesn't approve of our harvesting methods so it'sprobably best to plant some cultivated grapes. When I cleared the land for the greenhouse,it left plenty of area to plant various fruit producing plants which don't need the greenhouseto thrive. Plus why waste the space just growing grassé Taking a look at my 3rd grade drawing skills,I'm going to set three 4x4x10' treated posts 34 feet into the ground and space them 24'apart. This will allow for 8 plants in the space. Then I'll string 12 gauge galvanizedwire starting with the first wire 4246quot; from

the ground, then space the other two 12quot; apart.The plants can be spaced 6' apart and over time the vines can be trained along the 3wires. I had planned to set the posts first in theevent that I hit any large rocks while digging, however I blew a seal on the backhoe and hadto find some parts for it. So I took my chances and put the plants in first. The row shouldgo in a straight line and a 100' tape measure works well for marking out the locations ofeach post and plant. Jamming a piece of survey's tape at each mark does the trick. We're goingoldschool and using a pickaxe and shovel and digging a hole about 1 foot deep. Luckilythere weren't any large rocks in the way just

a few roots and small stones that the pickaxewas able to pluck out. Later, looking at the post holes, you'll see why I didn't dig themby hand. Planting the vines is fairly easy. I got theseseedless concord grapes from Gurney's for half price. I just remove the fiber that'sused for keeping the roots damp, spread out the roots a bit, and set it in the hole sothat all the roots that emerge from the vine will be just below the finished level of thesoil. All the dirt that came out of the hole was hardpan so I filled it with nice organicsoil, then compacted it down, and gave it a really good watering. It also importantto cover the area with mulch to help maintain

the moisture in the soil until the roots canget established. These will get watered every day for a couple of weeks. The actual work of planting the vines is quick.It's the preparation of digging out the rocks that takes all the time. A 30 cent Oring and a day to dismantle andreassemble the valve assembly and the backhoe is running again. I can now install the postsfor the wire arbor. It may not be the fastest backhoe, but it beats digging through therock with a pick and shovel. The holes are dug to about 4 feet which will provide a deepenough anchor to prevent the posts from leaning

from the future weight of the vines. Someof the rocks that I pulled out where bigger than the hole. If I had to dig these by hand,I probably would have only dug down a couple of feet, and then would have to anchor theposts with concrete and guywires. It seems like a really big hole for a post,but without an auger with rock drilling bit, it's probably the easiest way to set a post.A little cleanup at the bottom of the hole and it's ready. I'm using 4x4 treated lumberrated for direct burial. I'm not a fan of using treated lumber, but in order for itto last a long time, it's a necessary evil. I like to add two temporary cleats to thepost to help support it while I'm set it plumb

and backfill the hole. I also like to dropa few rocks around the base to hold it in place when I start to fill it in. I'll fillthe hole several inches at a time and compact it between each layer, then clean up the areawith some more woodchip mulch. The first wire starts roughly 4246 inchesfrom the ground and the second and 3 wires are spaced 12 inches apart. It will be theperfect snacking height for the deer. At each marking I'll drill a 38quot; hole through thepost and then put in a 516quot; eyebolt. The back side has a large fender washer and nut.Having a large washer will help to keep the nut from pulling into the post under the weightof the vines. It's fairly important to make

Spirit of Tasmania Flavours of Tassie Showcase Homehill Winery

My name's Kelly Kumar and my Mum and Dad ownHomehill Winery Restaurant and I have two brothers, my youngest brother works in thevineyard he looks after the vines and the love that goes into making the wine. I usedto market the wines we used to um, well you see before we had the restaurant, we usedto market our wines within Tasmania and Australia. My role was to get out there and sell thosewines and then when the restaurant opened in 2001 my role then was to manage HomehillWinery Restaurant. The vineyard used to be an apple orchard andso all the apples were scrubbed out and the vineyard was planted in 1991. So the grapevarieties that we've planted was pinot noir,

chardonnay and a rare grape variety (there'sonly a few vineyards in Australia that grow it) called silvaner. So they're the threegrape varieties that we grow in the vineyard. So as part of the Flavours of Tassie on boardthe Spirit of Tasmania, travellers can come and have a wine tasting of Homehill Wineson board so I think that will give a great chance for travellers to come and visit usand chat to us about whatever they'd like to ask us about the vineyard or the sort offood that we serve here in the restaurant in the Huon valley. But most importantly forthem to enjoy what we have to offer here in the Huon Valley at the Homehill Winery Restaurant.

Obviously there's a few wines named afterme because I, well I have two brothers Troy and Shaun and Troy's chardonnay does not soundcrash hot, neither does Shauny's chardonnay! This year at the Tasmanian Wine Show the Kelly'sReserve 2010 pinot noir won best pinot noir of the show, it won the best red wine of theshow, and it also won the best three year old pinot noir of the show and Homehill alsogot best pinot noir producer of the year. What makes Homehill Winery Restaurnant uniqueto Australia is that it's a family business. We have so much passion and love goes intogrowing our grapes and to making the wine and matching our great Huon valley producein our restaurant with our wines. We have

Huon valley mushrooms which is just over thehill not very far away. We have local Cradoc lamb and Cradoc is like, two kilometres thatway. We also have Huon aquaculture salmon. And that's all based here in the Huon valleyas well, which is two kilometers away from Homehill Winery Restaurant. Everything is the vineyard is done by hand.Planting of the vines was done by hand. Pruning is done by hand and obviously squashing ofthe grapes is not done by our feet anymore, we have a machine to do that but it is, it'sall done with our hands. It's all within the family. We get people from around, ah Ranelagh,our neighbours to come and help pick the grapes

and then we have a big barbecue afterwardsand celebrate. Oh and oysters, we have Bruny Island oysters too, we always use those inour restaurant and they're amazing so all this produce we get in such a small radiuswithin the Huon Valley area so we are, we are very, very lucky.

Spirit of Tasmania Flavours of Tassie Showcase Bridestowe Lavender Farm with Anna Robertson

I'm Anna Robertson and I'm the farm managerhere at Bridestowe Lavender Estate. It's the largest singular plantation of lavender inthe southern hemisphere, if not the world. We're famous here for our dried lavender flowerand we're also famous for the fine oil that we produce here during our January season. The farm was established at Lillydale in 1922and then moved up here to Nabowla in 1947 so we're actually 91 years old which is quitean achievement for a small Tasmanian business. Hello, my name is Sandra, and I've workedat Bridestowe Estate for 8 years. I serve in the retail area in this beautiful shop.As part of the quot;Flavours of Tassiequot; Showcase

on board the Spirit of Tasmania, please callin and see Robert and Jennifer. They'll have all the products here for you to try theoil and our gourmet range. This gorgeous area of Tasmania, the northeast,is spectacular with its climate and offers unbelievably fertile soils which make it absolutelyperfect for growing not just lavender but lots and lots of other local produce as well.So we have potatoes, we have onions, we have carrots, we have gorgeous vineyards all theway around us as well so a fantastic food bowl. Bridestowe is one of the most incredible placesbecause it's a farm and it's just so gorgeous

with the scenery that's around. It changesfrom fortnight to fortnight so summer is this big blast of purple flowers which is beautifuland amazing. Autumn, the big gorgeous oak trees they go orange and it's just stunning,as it is now. Winter, great big grey skeletons of the English oak trees and sparkling frostacross the grey lavender and snow on the caps of the mountains it's beautiful, winteris absolutely gorgeous. And then of course you roll back into spring and everything isjust lined with green and just bursts out of the paddocks.One of the most exciting times is actually in January when we start our annual oil harvestso, if you come to the farm you can see some

purple but then you can actually come downinto our distillery and watch the fine oil being steam extracted from those flowers andthe distillery is the best building on the farm it's my favourite it really gets abuzz about it, it's really, really fun. The 100% natural oil can be used just straightor neat. You can apply it to skin. People like to apply it to their temples just tohelp relax in the evening and send them off into a nice deep sleep. Our dried flower productactually goes into a lot of our culinary range, so our gourmet range. We use it to enhancethe flavour of cheeses, we have pancakes, there are muffins, scones, biscuits, you nameit you can put lavender into it!

We're located in the northeast of Tasmania.Hop off the Spirit of Tasmania, head for Launceston, just out the other side you'll find the lavenderfarm we're around about 45 minutes from Launceston.

Leave a Reply