Vignerons kept on toes

Nervousness about effect of rain

HEALTHY BUNCH: Merryn and Tony Ciavarella have been busy this season at their Oxley vineyards trimming back prolific shoot growth due to the heavy unseasonal rainfalls over the past month. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

HEAVY rainfalls have kept vignerons busy across the district over the past month but downy mildew at one Oxley grape grower’s vineyard hasn’t been a problem.

Tony and Merryn Ciavarella have experienced some “nervous days” but the picture is still looking good for production if future rains hold off.

The unexpected nature of the storms in the Wangaratta area have kept Tony and Merryn on their toes.

They had a good start to the season without any frosts, a part of nature that impacted their vines and chardonnay variety in October the year before.

“I have spent a lot of the summer out in the vineyard shoot thinning and managing the canopies and we’re really set up to not have to put any water on them towards the end of the season,” Mr Ciavarella said.

“There have been color changes in some of the varieties and they’re looking pretty good, with some of the berries a little bit bigger because of the rain.

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