March 08, 2022

2019 The Godfather Too Cabernet Release

Celebrate the release of our 2019 Godfather Too Cabernet on Saturday, 28th May at one of our favourite spots in Clare Valley - Sevenhill Hotel. View full article →
January 11, 2022

Summer Recipe | Pad Mee Korat + Riesling

Summer is a great time to enjoy our Riesling and pair it with a lovely spicy Thai dish. If you haven't had the opportunity to give this duo a go, here's an easy recipe to try this month. View full article →
June 02, 2021

2018 The Godfather Too Release Event | Recap

Our 2018 The Godfather Too Release is now behind us and it was a beautiful day! View full article →
March 25, 2021

2018 Godfather Too Cabernet Release

The time has come to celebrate the release of our 2018 Godfather Too Cabernet!

Join us and music legend, John Schumann, on Saturday, 29th May - 3pm at Sevenhill Hotel in Clare Valley. Relax, sip on our latest vintage, and take in the acoustic sounds of Rohan Powell and Ian ‘Polly’ Politis.

The afternoon is free to attend. Space is limited and bookings are essential due to covid-19 restrictions.

View full article →
February 02, 2021

Red Bridge Update

When we were first establishing Farrell Wines, more than six years ago now, we decided to use the railway bridge as our logo.

The narrow red bridge connected two sections of the Riesling Trail which forms the western boundary of our vineyard at Sevenhill. In fact, in the early days of the railway line on the trail we were told that the steam train stopped to take on water for the final run in to Clare from our property. View full article →
October 23, 2020

Spring Time at Farrell Wines

Springtime is in the air and that’s the time of year when we experience longer days and some extra sunshine.
The Clare Valley is now a stunning sea of green as our vines come out of the winter dormancy. Magnificent bud bursts are now well underway and the start of the growing season is looking very promising for the 2021 vintage.
View full article →
October 15, 2020

Recap | Watervale Hotel Political Roast Degustation

A fiery afternoon at the Watervale Hotel Political Roast 

Read Food with a View's write up of this great event...

View full article →
October 12, 2020

Spring Recipe | Emily’s Spring Time Tabouli

A favourite spring time recipe in our home - it's perfect pairing is our 2018 Farrell Wines Riesling. Emily’s Spring Time Tabouli... View full article →
July 28, 2020

Winter among the vines

Well the autumn leaves have dropped and and the bare vines will shortly be pruned to start next years crop of grapes. Volumes were low this year across the Clare Valley but that generally means more flavour in our 2020 wines... View full article →
August 17, 2016

The kindest cut

Imagine one of the harder and more unpleasant physical task you’ve ever done, and now picture yourself doing it outside in the winter chill, whilst standing in mud, and even in the rain.

Welcome to pruning.

Pruning is much more than giving the vines a bit of a winter tidy up and trim. In fact, it is just about the most important task in the vineyard, which is a good thing as we’d otherwise be tempted to put it off until spring, and it would never get done.

Good pruning sets up the grapevine vines to produce high quality fruit with the right level of acid, sugars, and flavours required to make our terrific Clare Valley wines, for both the coming season and beyond. It is all about balance; balancing fruit load, the spacing of bunches, and the size of the leaf canopy the vine produces during the growing season.

Leaves are the powerhouse of a vine, feeding the plant through photosynthesis, and turning sunlight, water and minerals into energy to sustain the plant. If the does not grow an appropriate sized canopy for its fruit load, it will not be able to  produce sufficient energy to support the ripening of its fruit. On the other hand, too much canopy is not good either.  We need to prune for a canopy that will give good airflow (to control diseases such as powdery mildew) and allow the right amount of sunlight exposure for ripening.

Timing of pruning is also important in planning our  winter work schedule. Growers with large holdings must start pruning early, often just as the last autumn leaves have dropped from the vines, so they can complete the task before spring growth appears. Our block is small enough that we can commence pruning later in winter and have the job finished before bud burst. This has a number of benefits. Later pruning can help delay bud burst by up to about two weeks. This ensures the new spring growth will not be damaged by a late visit from Jack Frost. Later pruning also reduces the risk of disease. Cuts are open wounds on vines and provide a site for infection to take hold. Pruning the vine just as sap is starting to move through the canes helps the vine to seal these cuts. Of course if we wait too long to start pruning we won’t finish the task before the commencement of spring growth.  

By the end of summer grapevines are a tangle of long canes, supported by the trellis system. These canes are great at finding unprotected eyes, so we usually have our vineyard manager, Michael Smyth, drive through the vineyard with a machine pruner to trim back the longest canes before we go in and finish the job by hand. However the wetter than average winter has meant our vineyard soil is too muddy to take the weight of heavy tractors. We don’t want to damage our soil structure so this year the vineyard will be entirely pruned by hand.

Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are pruned differently to adjust for the different crop level requirements and vine vigour. We also modify our pruning technique as we move from north to south to allow for the different soils and terroir through the block.

Pruning is not the only job on my to do list. Many of you will know I was successful in my bid for election to the Senate in the recent Federal election. Fortunately Nimfa with our daughters Tess and Emily will take on the day to day running of Farrell Wines to ensure your quick receipt of orders.

On that note, our Election Special has been extended again, but for a limited time only. Order two half dozen cases of Farrell Wines 2015 Shiraz and pay only $199, including delivery to anywhere in Australia. Click here to order.

Until next time,