All posts by SwanValley

Flower Essences

How to make your own Flower Essences using Organic Brandy

Instructions to Make Organic Flower Essences with Organic Brandy

https://www.harrisorganicwine.com.au/shop/organic-brandy.html

Flower blossoms are a piece of our life venture, from birth till death. Flowers influence the faculties; our noses, captivated by a euphoric fragrance, can send our recollections back on schedule. Possibly you can review as a youngster, you hauled the stamens out of the focal point of a yellow honeysuckle bloom to taste its pleasantness on your tongue.

Be that as it may, past these faculties, flowers can chip away at an alternate plane– – a vibrational level with our actual spirits. Flower Essences treatment works principally as a fiery impetus to get changes mental examples. The consequences of these progressions may have actual appearances too, however, these are a precaution.

How Do Flower Essences Work?

English doctor Edward Bach left modern medicine during the 1930s to zero in exclusively on flower embodiments. He turned into the originator and maker of 38 Bach Essences and one crisis recipe called Rescue Remedy, all still available today. Bach was very much aware of the lively engraving that the individual flowers injected into the water.

At the point when made in attunement with nature and the actual flowers, the essences work on the passionate level of our bodies.

Flower remedies likewise have a characteristic proclivity to the seven energy places of the body known as chakras. The chakras are: Root Chakra (establishing and security), Sacral Chakra (connections/sex), Solar Plexus (confidence), Heart Chakra (giving and accepting affection), Throat Chakra (self-articulation/correspondence), Brow or Third Eye (mental lucidity), and the Crown Chakra (soul cognizance and the heavenly). Flower embodiments have no results or contraindications.

They are ideal for use with youngsters and creatures. They can be taken in an assortment of ways: orally, added to your shower, blended in with your moisturizer and applied straightforwardly to your skin, or neutered as a fog that can be consumed from the air. You can’t take excessively or excessively little. Be that as it may, they contrast from customary meds.

The maxim that toning it down would be best applies to vibrational cures. Maybe, the greatest thing about bloom characters is that you can make them yourself with no costly hardware, only a couple of essential things to begin with. All you need is a sharp feeling of instinct and dedicated love of nature and flowers.

Picking Your Flower Essence

Picking a flower petal can be pretty much as basic as choosing a blossom that you feel a specific fascination in. You can pick a blossom that is now filling in your nursery or through pictures. In the event that working with premade forces, there are a couple of ways that you can pick the correct one.

Attempt instinctive vibrational methods, for example, utilizing your hands to “feel” the energy of a specific embodiment; this might be felt as a vibe of warmth and shivering when passing your open palms over the forces.

Different techniques experts use notwithstanding instinct incorporate the utilization of a pendulum (Radiesthesia), muscle testing (Kinesiology), or utilization of the Doctrine of Signatures (i.e., pick pink flowers for the heart chakra, violet/purple for the crown chakra, etc). Each blossom has a finger impression interesting to its vibration. When working with Flower Essences, it’s critical to perceive that the individual characters are bi-polar, tending to both the “issue” and the “arrangement.”

This requires genuine self-reflection. Determinations depend on singular history: objectives, qualities, shortcomings, connections, and educational encounters.

Setting up a Flower Essence

The essential essence that you make will be the base of your flower essences, the Mother Essence. This Mother Essence will be additionally crushed spirit into a stock jug lastly whenever wanted, a measurement bottle.

Before you start, the entirety of your provisions should be sanitized. Pick a radiant morning before the dew has dried to cut your flowers. You will put the bowl, raised to catch the sun, if you can, nearby where you have accumulated three hours of daylight.

Supplies to Make Your Flower Essence:

Two, 60g glass dropper bottles, dark (golden or green) in shading.

The additional bottles is for breaking the stock container into a measurements bottle whenever wanted.

Funnel

Clear glass or bowl that is committed to making Flower Essences.

A glass container (600mL) with 100 to 150 ml of rain water or well water.

Try not to utilize refined water as the ionization cycle used to distil it obliterates the water’s life power.

A leaf, for example, a cabbage or lettuce leaf to put flowers on prior to adding to the water.

Organic Brandy as an additive.

Shears or scissors used explicitly for social occasion flowers.

Labels. Make certain to record the time, date, area just as the essence(s) contained.

The most effective method to Make Flower Essences Step-by-Step

Stage 1 – Choose and Gather Your Flowers

At the point when you’re prepared to assemble your flowers, take the water from the container and add it to the glass bowl. Invest some energy in communing with your picked plant/flowers. Make certain to disclose to the plant what you intend to do and request authorization. This may appear to be senseless, yet plants are authentic creatures! Recollect that your progression of energy goes into every quintessence you make. Assemble flowers that are close to full development. Follow your instinct, cutting simply the blossom heads (without contacting them) and let them fall onto the leaf.

Stage 2 – Add Your Flowers to Water

At the point when you have accumulated enough flowers for your Mother Essence, add them to the outside of the water, face up with the goal that they are not contacting. Let the bowl with the flowers sit undisturbed in the sun for roughly three to four hours.

Stage 3 – Choose and Gather Your Flowers Utilizing a leaf, you can eliminate the flowers from the water. Spot them under the plant you have assembled them from and offer much obliged.

Stage 4 – Prepare Your Stock Bottle

Add the organic brandy liquor 40% alcohol with rainwater into the stock container, to make a 20% alcohol solution, and afterwards add four to seven drops of the Mother Essence. Initiate the substance by overwhelmingly shaking the jug and tapping it against your palm, blending it into the water. Make certain to shake the bottle each time before utilizing them. On the off chance that making a dose bottle, simply rehash this interaction.

Stage 5 – Use Your Flower Essence

The dose from the stock bottle are four drops under the tongue or in a little water up to four times each day. Take after waking and resigning, around early afternoon and evening suppers. In any case, don’t take it straightforwardly with food. Make certain to store out of light and warmth.

Start by working with one essence. As you acquire insight, you would then be able to consolidate three to six essences zeroing in on major issues. There might be an impermanent expansion in manifestations until negative examples are delivered.

If necessary, increment the recurrence of the essence, not the portion size. Take part in exercises that work synergistically with the flower essences, for example, journaling and utilizing positive confirmations that will help re-energize your psyche.

Flower Choices to Get You Started

Beebalm Mondardo didyma: A top pick of the hummingbirds and an amazing decision to return some zoom to your life, truly and profoundly. Use honey bee ointment flower essence to add some ‘sparkle’ to your life.

Draining Heart Dicentra formosa: A lasting, handily perceived by its hanging memento like hearts, this quintessence has a liking with the heart chakra. The individuals who have had broken hearts may discover therapy with draining heart, however, it is prescribed to do so step by step. It can reestablish concordance and harmony to the heart.

German Chamomile Matricaria recutita: German chamomile is effortlessly perceived by its sensitive flowers with its bright yellow community and white beam petals. Seek chamomile for sensations of stress and unbalance. The sunlight based plexus chakra is relieved by the quieting of chamomile.

Columbine Aquilegia canadensis: Columbine once seen isn’t destined to be forgotten for its ethereal magnificence. Columbine is helpful for individuals who experience the ill effects of confidence issues.

Honeysuckle (common) Lonicera caprifolium: Use the flower essence of honeysuckle if you end up lost in sentimentality, that “I need to return home once more,” feeling. Honeysuckle will save you from suffocating before, be it a tragically missing youth or the departure of a relationship. It can permit you to push ahead with your life in a positive way, gain from past encounters, and push ahead.

References and Resources

Print Resources

Whitehurst, T. (2013). The enchantment of flowers. Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications.

Online Resources

Australian Bush Flower Essences, https://ausflowers.com.au/

Flower Essence Society, www.flowersociety.org

organic vineyard

UNDERVINE WEED MANAGEMENT

UNDERVINE WEED MANAGEMENT

Vineyard weed control

Organic Vineyard weed control is managed in several ways by modern vignerons.  Mostly chemical means, using glyphosate, an organic salt, other chemical herbicide means, usually by spraying a fine mist onto all the plants under vine and by mechanical means, using ploughs that cut the soil or rotary action.

Silly Plough

At Harris Organic vineyard the Spring under vine grapevine weed control has never included any chemical herbicide usage.

Every spring the Massey Ferguson MF135 diesel tractor was used to pull the “silly plough” along the rows to strip away the soil and growth under the vines.  This aids to the health and fitness of the operator and to the communication skills of plough-man and driver. Now you can guess who drove the tractor and who did the yelling!

plough1
under vine weeding with a single-bladed silly plough
plough2
Strip digging

 
under vine weed, hat on, glasses focussed

plough4
Are you ready?
plough5 under vine weed
Not too fast!

Mechanical Weeding, not Chemical Weeding

There is a lot we can learn from the old ways in the Swan Valley region about grapevine weed control.  At a recent  European exhibition, there was not a single under-vine herbicide machine, they were all mechanical machines as many European vineyards are going organic.

Further, this gives some context to the recent decision from the French and Belgium Governments to ban the sale of glyphosate (the active constituent in Roundup).  A large portion of European grape growers is opting for organic/biodynamic vineyards. The progress of the organic movement has allowed the advancement of chemical-free options.

Chemicals

Organic vignerons are turning to engineering companies which produce practical, versatile machines that combine a number of operations. These are all changeable to the base unit on the tractor.

Then the system uses an under vine blade,  mulcher and a rotary hoe which are easily attached to the side-mounted unit. This gives the grapevine grower the ability to adapt to each vineyard situation which is crucial in Australian vineyards due to our varied weed species, vine age and differing soil types.

Here in this video is what we do now in our organic vineyard.

As glyphosate resistance is already a problem across the country, due to normal weeds becoming resistant to herbicides.

Then we should all be looking at ways we can manage our weed populations. Also, this can be done effectively, efficiently and in the most sustainable manner by ploughing. In the first instance giving the under vine area, a shallow ploughing removes the chemical-resistant weeds.

This leads on to the question, “When is glyphosate going to be banned in Australia”?

Tractorless vineyard

Is it possible to have a tractorless vineyard?  Yes, I believe it is possible, however, the capital cost may be prohibitive, depending on how it is set up.

I can envisage a fox-proof fenced vineyard, that is filled with free-range chickens during the autumn, winter and spring. During the summer the chickens would need to be housed in a separate area away from the vines as free-range chickens eat grapes

The free-range chickens will clean up and weed all the vineyard and reduce ground-dwelling vine pests as well as pest control. 

Sheep may be an alternative too, but they will eat spring shoots.

I can see it may be a dual business between grape grower and free-range egg producer.

Organic chickens in the vineyard

Chickens in an Organic Vineyard

Organic chickens

Organic chickens in organic vineyards are wonderful.  I would like to forget using the diesel tractor ploughing between vines, the latest must-have in my organic vineyard maintenance is chickens. Leading the way in the Swan Valley I have introduced chickens to the vineyard to help with the upkeep.

As an organic vigneron in the hot climate grape-producing region of Perth’s Swan Valley, I allowed my chickens to roam the vineyard. The chickens scratch and aerate the soil, peck, eat seeds and insect larvae. They are doing a lot of work for me.

Chickens in the vineyard

Ducks or chickens in the vineyard are an asset to any vineyard whether it is organic or not. Generally, they are quite hardy and independent. A well-tended vineyard and a source of fresh-water and a safe place to roost are all that is needed during summer, winter and spring. Autumn is different!

All chickens are home lovers, meaning that they return home every evening so they are easy to handle, compared with ducks. We had some ducks many years ago and they would not go home, however, ducks do love grapes just as much as chickens eating grapes.

Every day they had to be rounded up or foxy would visit during the early evening and night and have duck dinner. This must not have been pleasant for the ducks and was not for me.

My chickens ( chooks)  are much more alert and a little wiser and survive the occasional fox visit.

Can chickens eat grapes?

During the late summer month’s (chooks) chickens in the vineyard is not a good thing unless your vines are on a high trellis. Chickens love to eat grapes; to see them jumping is cute. But not economically viable to lose your organic crop you have worked so hard for.

Here the vineyard chickens are locked up behind the house in a large run until all the grape picking is finished. Can chickens eat grapes? Yes, eating grapes is safe for chickens. Can chickens eat raisins and grape seeds? Yes, eating raisins is safe for chickens too.

However, dogs don’t have the right constitution for grapes. Subsequently, their kidney tubes atrophy and a long slow death is imminent. Seek the advice of your nearest vet.

There are reports of chickens devouring whole rows and looking very fat and healthy for their effort.

Can ducks eat grapes?

Yes, ducks will eat grapes just as well as chickens, however, they don’t reach or jump as high as chickens.

Video of; “Can chickens have grapes” in an organic vineyard.

In the late autumn chickens in the vineyard are wonderful. They clean up all the vineyard, after the grape harvest has finished, of old dried grapes and enjoy the fresh young shoots of new weeds and seeds.

Rescued Chickens

My current flock of chickens were rescued from a local egg farm.

rescued chicken
rescued chicken

The pale combed feather-less things were thin and poorly, but laying eggs every day for a few weeks. Due to the lack of night lights and high protein crumbed food they stopped their egg-laying.

With the winter’s shorter days this makes their ovaries shut down and go on holidays until the spring comes. During Spring the weather warms up, the days are longer and the chickens become healthier and start laying again.

When they first arrived they huddled together and did not know what to do. When allowed out of the hen house they did know how to scratch.

Later they turned the wood chip mulch over in one morning. For some unknown reason, they were very tame not scared of my hands and would eat food from them eagerly.

Chickens settling in

After eight weeks their feathers had all grown back and they started to look like well kept healthy chickens. Now when I open the hen house door in the morning they run out and off exploring as though they have no time to lose.

organic chickens
organic chicken at Harris Organic

We love our chickens, they are so inquisitive and cheeky, especially Wendy.  They take off in the morning to their favourite playground during the day. Sometimes the orchard, looking for grubs under the trees, the olives or the mulberry tree.

Other days it’s down the vineyard, turning over the ploughed ground. They search for anything nourishing and living. Grubs and snail eggs get a work out beside the seed bank from the previous winter’s green manure crop.

During a spring long table lunch in the underground cellar my chicken named Wendy came visiting, checking us out, saying hello and seeking any food scraps we may have dropped.

organic chickens in cellar
Wendy, the chicken in the underground cellar at Harris Organic

Organic Vineyard

Some years ago we had an outbreak of vine weevils, however, since the organic chickens arrived we have not seen another outbreak.

We were given a mother and some chickens by a couple who had to move house. The mother educated the babies and at night she would spread her wings so that they could all huddle underneath and keep warm.

It was such a delight to watch and so educational to me. All the chickens I have ever seen were all orphaned at birth and sent to the chicken farm to be raised into egg layers.

My organic chickens are so tame they will eat out of my hand. They will even talk to you in their peculiar way.  Have you seen a chicken smile?

I swear that once you have something for them to eat they will come running and smile, cocking their heads looking up at you and saying thank you.

We love our organic chickens, so feed a few cold grapes for chickens on a hot day, they will enjoy them!

Reasons to Drink Organic Red Wine

A considerable lot of us welcome the way that we can appreciate that periodic glass of organic red wine or “normal” red wine as an extraordinary method to loosen up and de-stress.

Organic Red Wine

Organic red wine likewise has a few all-around noted medical advantages.

Organic Red Wines
Harris Organic Wines

Many of us appreciate the fact that we can enjoy that occasional glass of red wine as a great way to unwind and de-stress.

Organic Red wine also has several well-documented health benefits.

Need a boost

In the event that you need a boost, a portion of those advantages include:

  •    Lowering terrible cholesterol and raising good cholesterol levels
  •     Reducing the danger of blood coagulating nearly as adequately as anti-inflammatory medicine
  •     Regulating glucose levels
  •     Boosting intellectual prowess and keeping your memory sharp
  •     Protecting cells against free radicals
  •     Fighting contaminations
  •     Reducing malignancy chance
  •     Aiding weight reduction endeavours

While all of those benefits are great, it’s important to remember that table grapes are among the most pesticide-laden fruit. This makes it essential to reach for organic wine when it’s time to fill that glass.

Standard grapes for wine are grown with herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers while organic wines are completely free of these inputs.

Organic wines are also free from synthetic additives and do contain minimal sulphites, which some asthmatic people may be sensitive to.

There is an ever-increasing number of natural and organic wines and vineyards springing up over the country and the planet.

This gives you more choices at the liquor store just as when you go out to eat. You don’t need to surrender incredible taste either; most occasions, organic tastes better than standard wines because there aren’t any chemical tastes or added substances.

Buy Organic Red Wine

You can buy organic red wine online by clicking here at Harris Organic Wines. You can choose from organic shiraz or organic malbec wines.

Harris Organic Wines

One of the best organic wineries is Harris Organic Wines, located in Perth, Western Australia, in the Swan Valley Wine Region. You will find them 30 kilometres from the Perth CBD.

This small, certified organic winery uses chickens, neighbouring guinea fowl and other animals to naturally fertilize the grapes and reduce weed seeds.

At Harris Organic Wines, everything is part of an integrated system.

Every element of the estate plays a part in the result of the wines that are produced; including volunteers, animals, plants, microbes, climate, location and soil.

We are sure you will enjoy drinking organic red wine.

hand sanitiser

Organic Hand Sanitiser

Organic Hand Sanitiser

How did it happen?

This week Harris Organic started production of its own certified organic hand sanitiser for the need of Harris Organic customers.

After many enquiries, Harris was able to obtain a recipe from the WHO and a statement from the TGA regarding the exemption on excise of food-grade alcohol for hand sanitiser to assist in the battle against COVID-19 virus.

For Harris Organic to make ethanol firstly he has to grow the grapes on the certified organic land (the only block in Perth), harvest and make wine in a particular style for distillation before the refinement process. The spirit is distilled three times to reach its ultimate purity before it is made into certified organic Hand Sanitiser.

What You Need To Know:

– Organic Hand Sanitiser makes no claims it kills 99.9% of germs

– It contains 80% organic ethyl alcohol (ethanol) which is the approved amount for the TGA recipe

– It only contains organic ethanol, glycerine, hydrogen peroxide, water & no other additives.

– It’s not as effective as soap and water.

– It’s more effective than lower alcohol hand sanitisers

– It comes in a 750 mL bottle NB it is not wine.

– It can be sprayed or pumped and has a beautiful natural brandy fragrance

– This product is certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free

– It dries super quickly so you can get back to what you were doing

– It’s suitable to use on all skin types, even on children’s skin

BUY Hand Sanitiser HERE

Specific formulations excluded from TGA regulation for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic

On 28 March 2020, specified hand sanitiser formulations were excluded from TGA regulation, as long as they only contain particular ingredients in particular quantities in the final formulation, and comply with certain manufacturing practices, and advertisement and labelling conditions. Provided that the exact formulation and other requirements are followed, this formulation is permitted for use in both healthcare facilities and consumer use.

This exclusion will facilitate the urgent and continued supply of large volumes of hand sanitisers in Australia.

The formulations are based on advice by the World Health Organization and similar decisions by the US Food and Drug Administration. The final formulation of the hand sanitiser must contain only the following ingredients:

  • EITHER ethanol 80% v/v (pharmacopoeial grade or food standard grade) OR isopropyl alcohol 75% v/v (pharmacopoeial grade) in an aqueous solution;
  • sterile distilled water or boiled cold water;
  • glycerol 1.45% v/v (pharmacopoeial grade);
  • hydrogen peroxide 0.125% v/v (pharmacopoeial grade); and
  • does not contain any other active or inactive ingredients, including colours, fragrances or emollients.

There are strict requirements for the labelling of these products. Manufacturers must also test the alcohol concentrations of each batch, manufacture under sanitary conditions and maintain production record-keeping. The legislation enabling production of these sanitisers is the Therapeutic Goods (Excluded Goods – Hand Sanitisers) Determination 2020.

The products will continue to be regulated as consumer goods under Australian Consumer Law. Manufacture of this product is not considered compounding.

BUY Hand Sanitiser HERE

Winery Volunteers

Perth and the Swan Valley’s only organic Vineyard and winery has volunteers during the year to help maintain the vineyard and home.

Workaway and Helpx are welcome at our certified organic vineyard and winery in Perth’s Swan Valley. We have a room for couples and a caravan that has space enough for two persons.

There is a variety of work all year around that is not too strenuous and plenty of time to learn new skills. Since 2006 we have been A-Grade Australian Certified Organic and now with Southern Cross.

To go to the Workaway Australia site, visit here or email Duncan Harris to enquire about staying with us while you are in Perth.
Please state your Workaway number and your age etc.. when writing to us.


Please note.. Be prepared to cook mixed meals for everyone. Drinking organic wine is voluntary!

Couples welcome and non-smoking is essential.

Thanks to all my volunteers in 2019.

A big thank you to every one of you. You make my heart sing with joy for the energy and vibrancy you bring to myself and Harris Organic. May you be home with your family at this time of year and if you are still in Australia I hope you have Christmas with some good friends to enjoy a few hours reminiscing about your travels.

Paula and I are off to New Zealand in January for ten days and will arrive home to start vintage in what may be a very challenging year for the organic vineyard. We won’t be praying, but hope there is some good rainfall before vintage starts on January 23rd 2020.

If you are returning to Perth give us a call so we can catch up before you depart for your home shores.

All the best and Merry Christmas.

Interesting facts of Harris Organic Wines

What are 3 interesting facts that you would like people to know about your winery:

Harris Organic Wine and Spirits

Some of the interesting facts about Harris Organic are:

  • Claims to have the only certified organic liqueurs made from grapes in the world
  • Is the only certified organic block of land in the Perth metropolitan area.
  • Makes the only certified organic brandy in Australia
  • Be Number one on Google for “Organic Wine Perth”

Which organic wine is your best seller?

Rose’ and our dry white Verdelho are the best sellers.

Winemakers favourite organic wine you have on your current portfolio.

Our organic Shiraz red wine, because it is a wonderful grape for the Swan Valley climate, the rich duplex soil we have and the elegance and richness the organic shiraz produces.

What do you feel sets you apart from all the other wineries in the region?

We are certified organic because we believe in looking after the planet and being as sustainable as possible. Who wants to dring herbicide residues.

Do you have a resident “winery dog” and what’s their name??

We have a Resident Cat who’s name is Rosie and our vicious dog is named Lucy. they are both 2011 vintage.

What is your winery’s ‘birthday’?

We were established in 1998 and our cellar door opened the 1st January 2000.

How old are your oldest organic vines and what variety are they?

Our first vines planted was Shiraz planted in 1999. There is 900 vines of dry grown shiraz.

Where are your wines distributed?

Our organic wines are available through our Cellar door and one bottle shop in Perth, Wembley Downs Liquor Barons and another in Geraldton WA and organic wine online through our organic wine store website.

Which wine is your most awarded? And do you have any recent winery awards you would like to boast about?

We have many medals awarded over 20 years of wine shows. Gold medals have been awarded for our liqueurs and vintage ports. We received a silver medal for the 2009 Liqueur shiraz and 2018 chenin blanc from the 2019 Swan Valley wine Show.

 Lastly, are there any special deals

Just ask at the cellar door. There is always a special at our cellar door in Perth’s Swan Valley Wine Region or join our wine club for discounted wine.

Interesting facts, organic cellar door at Harris Organic
organic cellar door

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.

What a Wwoofing / Helpx / Workaway year and has it gone fast.  Thank you to all you guys for helping me make Harris Organic wines the success it is. You are all welcome to return and stay at any time.

Hello Volunteers, many thanks for helping our in our winery during the year.

More info about volunteering can be found at Harris Organic Winery page.

The organic vines at this time of year

Did you see the picture of the pizza. Check out how to build a pizza oven here.

Growing Pedro Ximenez in the Swan Valley

What is Pedro Ximenez

Pedro Ximenez is the name of a white Spanish grape variety. Some times it is called Pedro Ximenes or PX. It has been grown in Spain for centuries.
The first plants that came to Western Australia were taken by British settlers as cuttings from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa in the early 1830s. The vines are vigorous on the rich alluvial soils of the Swan Valley with its Mediterranean climate. The vines produce large bunches of white grapes. To maximize the grape sugar levels the vines have to be meticulously maintained through the growing season. To make the rich and luscious liqueur wines that are renown worldwide the sugar level has to be extraordinarily high. This is achieved by letting the grapes ripen and shrivel as raisins on the vine in the autumn sunshine.

Growing Pedro Ximenez

Pedro Ximenez grows readily in the Swan Valley in Perth’s Western Australia.  It is a white wine grape best known for the sweet sherries of Spain.  Pedro Ximenez comes to the fore as a fortified wine either as a Sherry style or as a fortified single-variety wine known as Pedro Ximenez (PX).

In the Swan Valley, we make the greatest sweet dessert wines of the world. Once called sherry in Australia, and now called by its varietal name Pedro Ximenez, as the Europeans own the name, Sherry.

Planting

We have 300 Pedro Ximenez (PX) vines planted in our organic vineyard, situated at the top of the Swan Valley, 29 km from Perth, in Western Australia.  Harris Organic Wines is the only certified organic vineyard and winery in Perth with 3 ha of land.

The vines cover an area of 20,000 square metres. The PX was planted in 2002 as part of our efforts to continue making our great fortified dessert wines. The clone of our Pedro Ximénez is unknown and here they are grown on their own roots and do well.

The vines are planted with 2.1 m spacing. The rows are 3.0m apart. The vines are trained to the wire at 900mm high and are rod pruned to 5 or 6 buds per rod. The vines are trained on VSP trellis to 1.8m above the ground.

We spray the vines during spring. The vines are sprayed with wettable sulphur after rain and Bordeaux mixture before any rain events.

We continually maintained the vines with summer pruning. After fruit set, the vines are leaf plucked on the southern side so that fruit thinning can be performed at veraison.

To reach the highest sugar levels the un-irrigated vines are only allowed to have one bunch of fruit per shoot. This leaves 6-8 bunches per vine and approximately two kilogrammes per vine at 25 Be’.

Site characteristics

Pedro Ximenez is grown at an elevation of just 19m above sea level. Situated about 30km from the Indian Ocean, the vineyard is flat, as is the surrounding Swan Valley land. The Pedro Ximenez vines are planted east-west direction in soil that comprises a duplex sandy loam over clay. In January, the site experiences a mean maximum temperature of 33.2°C and a mean minimum temperature of 17°C.  Further, the average annual rainfall over the last 10 years has been 650mm dominated by 140mm averages for June and July. The site doesn’t experience frosts while winds are predominantly south-west in the afternoon, with some easterly gales in spring and autumn.

Trellising and canopy management

The row and vine spacing of the Pedro Ximénez is 3m x 2.1, respectively, and is trellised to a five-wire Vertical Shoot Position (VSP).  Sometimes we practise leaf plucking on the south side of the vines, shoot trimming around Christmas time, shoot thinning and shoot-positioning when putting the wires up in November and bunch thinning to carry the fruit through to 25 Baume.

Irrigation and soil management

The Pedro Ximenez vines are unirrigated. Between rows, we grow lupins, vetch and a mixture of wild radish, sour sobs and capeweed to increase soil carbon and nitrogen. Strip digging and ploughing the vine rows in spring produces a dry earth mulch. This helps to conserve soil moisture and help manage weed growth.  Wood chip compost is spread out along the vine inter-rows to act as a fertiliser in autumn.

Pest and disease management

Pedro Ximenez is more susceptible to downy mildew than the other varieties grown here. Furthermore, to reduce its susceptibility, we prune the vines late in the season so that budburst is up to two weeks later than the other varieties. Budburst this year occurred on 10 October.

Pruning

We spur-pruned the Pedro Ximénez to two-bud spurs as recommended by the Handbook of Horticulture and Viticulture of Western Australia. This book was first published by Adrien Despiessis in 1895.  Due to my 1921 second edition of the handbook by the Western Australian Department of Agriculture started to fall apart,  I undertook the task of reprinting this wonderful book on behalf of others as well as myself in 2007. We have the intent of producing a small amount of PX fruit at 25Be for a PX sherry liqueur. After 5 years of spur pruning, I have changed the pruning method to cane pruning. This reduces the amount of time required for hand thinning of the shoots during Spring.

Future methods of management

Changing from a four-wire to a five-wire trellis helped reduce hedging time, and increase the verticality of the shoots and changing from spurs to canes, to reduce shoot thinning handwork.

Harvesting

At version, all excess fruit is removed leaving only one bunch per shoot, i.e., about 12 bunches per vine. A typical analysis of our Pedro Ximénez at harvest: Sugar (Baumé) 25, Acidity (TA) very low with a pH of about 4.0.
We harvest less than a tonne of Pedro Ximénez per year at this sugar level.
Average phenological timing:

Budburst early October
Flowering November
Fruit set December
Veraison late January
We harvest usually about the 1st April but sometimes this can stretch out to May due the weather.

Winemaking

Pedro Ximénez fermentation is carried out on its skins for a few degrees Baume’ before pressing. The fermented juice is returned to the tank, prior to fortification. Once fortified with certified organic neutral brandy spirit the wine is racked and allowed to settle for a few weeks before racking to barriques. Ours is an organic fortified version, fortified with certified organic brandy from the only organic distillery in Australia. We mature our PX for many years in our underground cellar. The award-winning Pedro Ximénez sherry is packaged in 375ml bottles.

The biggest challenge in producing Pedro Ximenez

None really, it’s a matter of learning more about the variety and the terroir as the vines become more mature.  Although PX does require a lot of hand-work, particularly fruit thinning to improve flavour and ripeness, it is well worth the effort.

Advice to other growers

For best results, the more handwork the better.  Love your vineyard and the vines will perform for you.

Crown thinning Pedro Ximenez
Crown thinning Pedro Ximenez

Autumn Pedro Ximenez
Autumn Pedro Ximenez.